Capitol 6 reopens, starring luxury recliners

It will seem like old times in downtown Victoria — but with a new spin — as Capitol 6 Cinemas comes back to life today as a luxury multiplex.

The Blanshard Street movie theatre was closed three years ago by Empire Company Ltd.

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On Thursday afternoon, owner Andrew Golin and his crews were putting the finishing touches on the theatre.

“As usual, it’s the last-minute fire drill, and the screen riggers are still doing their stuff,” Golin said.

The large fading Empire Theatres lettering has been removed from the exterior of the building. The theatre has had its capacity reduced by more than half to accommodate 564 new luxury recliners. Other new features include larger screens and a fancy soda fountain.

“I think there’s an opportunity for more family films to work downtown,” Golin said. “They certainly did when I lived here.”

The theatre’s operations manager has been busy hiring staff, he said.

“We have a good crew so far. We’re benefiting from people who work in tourism jobs during a season when it’s not as busy.”

Admission prices are $12 for adults (ages 14-64), $10.50 for seniors, and $10 for children ages three to 13, with a $3 surcharge for 3D presentations.

Ticket prices will be reduced to $7 for seniors on Mondays, and to $7.50 for everyone on Tuesdays. Moviegoers who attend showings before 4 p.m. will be admitted for $10. “[Discounting matinées] is something that has worked quite well in the U.S., so we thought we’d try it here,” Golin said.

The theatre’s reopening brings the number of screens in downtown Victoria back to 14.

It complements seven screens at Cineplex Odeon, 780 Yates St., where all standard seating is being replaced with luxury recliners, reducing capacity from 1,800 to 1,000, and one at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St.

mreid@timescolonist.com

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