Scotiabank name in lights via Cineplex

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TORONTO -- Banking giant Scotiabank has purchased the naming rights to Cineplex Entertainment's flagship downtown Toronto multiplex, the Canadian exhibition chain said Wednesday.

Cineplex said Scotiabank has purchased certain media and naming rights for the Paramount Toronto multiplex, which will now be called Scotiabank Theater Toronto.

Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Toronto-based Cineplex Entertainment, said that getting into the multiplex naming rights business is aimed at increasing the local cinema as a consumer brand, much like sports stadiums.

"We're trying to create entertainment destinations out of the cinema, and that's no different than a sporting venue," Jacob said. Besides Hollywood movies, Cineplex Entertainment multiplexes have begun screening NHL hockey games and other sporting events, and super-sized Metropolitan Opera performances.

Cinemagoers also will see the Scotiabank name when they attend Cineplex multiplexes in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Cineplex Entertainment, Canada's largest exhibitor with 130 locations nationwide, also announced the launch of the country's first entertainment loyalty program to reel in and track young moviegoers.

Cineplex is teaming with Scotiabank to introduce Scene, a rewards program that offers points to be redeemed for free food, drink and movies every time a ticket is purchased at the local multiplex.

"For us, having a loyalty program where we can understand our customers, communicate with them, and make movies part of their daily shopping patterns, has upside for everyone," Jacob said.

The Scene program was launched Wednesday in Toronto and will be rolled out elsewhere in Canada in the coming months.

Jacob said other partners besides Scotiabank will be brought into the loyalty program to create a workable business model and one that brings more young people into cinemas.

The card-based loyalty program will earn participants 100 points every time an admission ticket is purchased, with bonus points available to those buying tickets online.

Card holders also will be eligible for contests with prizes, including trips to Hollywood or free movies for a year.
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