Cineplex Unveils "Cinema of the Future": Movies, Gaming, VR, Live Events

Cineplex Junxion - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy Junxion

The Junxion complex will include cinema screens, amusement games, restaurants, virtual reality experiences and space for live events and entertainment.

Canada's largest exhibitor, Cineplex, is making its biggest bet on location-based entertainment with Junxion, an all-in-one "cinema of the future" with movie theaters, virtual reality, amusement gaming, a food hall and space for live events and entertainment.

"As Canada’s entertainment landscape continues to evolve, we are proudly introducing this state-of-the-art community hub where families and friends can come together to play, dine, unwind and have fun," Cineplex president and CEO Ellis Jacob said in a statement.

The first Junxion location is set for the Erin Mills Town Centre mall in suburban Toronto, and will include six movie auditoriums when it opens in late 2020. Along with new and classic video games, Junxion guests may also access VR experiences from Seattle-based VRstudios and other interactive offerings.

On the dining front, Cineplex's latest out-of-home entertainment option will include a food hall, an indoor food truck and a beer and wine bar. Besides its 165 multiplexes countrywide, Cineplex already runs seven locations of The Rec Room, featuring arcade games, restaurants and live entertainment; and two Playdium destinations, with arcade games and VR experiences.

The strategy is to diversify Cineplex into media, amusement and leisure businesses to reduce its reliance on fluctuating Hollywood box office. The Canadian company is also partnering with U.S.-based Topgolf, which combines a golf driving range with other games, to open Topgolf entertainment complexes across Canada.

Cineplex also struck a strategic partnership with VRstudios that includes an equity investment in the maker of commercial virtual reality arcades and installing up to 40 VRstudios arcades in its multiplexes and location-based entertainment centers across Canada by 2021.

Other high-end VR offerings from Cineplex include attractions from The Void in its multiplexes and entertainment venues. And Player One Amusement Group, a division of Cineplex, recently signed a deal with U.S. exhibitor Cinemark to bump up the amusement gaming experience at over 270 Cinemark locations.