A happy first anniversary to the CineStarz Deluxe Theatre at Quartier Cavendish.
When the Cineplex Odeon closed for good on November 2, 2020, it was during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Movie theatres were closed and as a result not too many people expressed dismay. At that time I wrote a blog, expressing my personal hope that someone like Bruce Gurberg would come to the rescue. Bruce resides in the West End and owns the CineStarz chain, with locations at Côte des Neiges Plaza, in St. Leonard, Ottawa and the Greater Toronto area.
Privately, Bruce shared with me that day his desire to fill the void. Despite all of the COVID obstacles he was beyond good on his word, CineStarz Deluxe opened in July 2022 and when I walked in side to see my first movie there -Jurassic Park -the place blew me away. As the city councillor for District 2, which encompasses Quartier Cavendish, I could not be more proud.
This has become a destination theatre, with its ultra-comfortable electronically controlled leather seats, large screens and terrific sound. Bruce spared no expense. Cineplex left him with a shell. Everything had to be rebuilt from scratch. He got a liquor license and even installed a full bar, You can bring your drinks to your seats.
Recently, the theatre served as the venue for our Volunteer Appreciation Evening. Other organizations are booking it as well. And yes, it is a popular spot for kids birthday parties. While Bruce is on the road frequently to watch over his other venues, this spot already holds a special place in his heart.
I urge everyone in our community to visit the theatre. We do not see that many blockbuster movie releases these days. There have been a few. We have those that attract young families. This month, CineStarz Deluxe Cavendish is showing Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning -Part One. Now I must admit I do not see as many movies as I used to, but these two collections have been part of my personal theatre-going history for decades. I first saw Harrison Ford in the lead role of Indy back in 1981 for Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was at the old Imperial Theatre. Wow, I was a year out of high school. If anyone had told me that Ford would reprise the same role 40 years later I’d say they were crazy. Tom Cruise debuted his first Mission Impossible film back in 1996. Again, it is remarkable to see him back at it again with another on the way.
“I am grateful for the outpouring of support,” Bruce told me. “I am so happy people are enjoying the labour of love I put into this place. I certainly hope people continue to visit our state of the art complex.”