Some changes may finally be in the works for Whitehorse’s much-maligned movie theatres.
Calgary-based Landmark Cinemas, which operates both the Yukon and Qwanlin theatres, announced it is actively working to resolve the fate of the buildings.
The options are to relocate the theatres to another location, or invest in the current facilities, according to Landmark President Neil Campbell.
“We acknowledge that a decision needs to be made,” Campbell said in an e-mail.
“They are old buildings but they are clean and safe. We are continuing to evaluate all options.”
The Yukon Cinema Centre is pushing 60 this year.
The buildings were acquired more than 20 years ago and the biggest upgrades have been the installation of digital projection, 3D screens and new sound equipment, Campbell added.
Landmark has received so many complaints about the aging buildings that it recently set up an e-mail address specifically for Whitehorse patrons:
Campbell said several people have written in so far, and the company will be responding to each person individually.
“Our guests in Whitehorse are passionate about their movie-going experience and have provided valuable feedback,” Campbell said.
Jessica Garstin of Whitehorse is one of the disappointed moviegoers who shared her thoughts with the company.
She e-mailed them because she feels strongly about the sad state of the theatres, she said.
“The building really should be demolished,” she wrote, and admits she hasn’t been in the theatres for over 10 years due to their condition.
“I truly hope the issue of Whitehorse’s decrepit theatres gets resolved and the cinemas are updated and/or quite hopefully, replaced. I really do hope something gets done about the theatres. Gut them, retrofit them and build a new theatre.”
Campbell said an outside cleaning contractor cleans the buildings daily.
In October 2009, the company responded to a flurry of customer complaints by announcing it was investing over $150,000 to renovate its Whitehorse theatres. It’s unclear how much of that work has been completed since.
Around the same time, the company also suspended its plans to build a six-screen multiplex in Whitehorse, one it had been discussing for several years prior.
Landmark operates 49 locations across Canada.
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