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  #61  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2005, 8:48 PM
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^But couldn't you argue that it's not patriotism, but just that the American market is bigger, and makes it easier to succeed? Why there is Canadian Content rules in media, but not a similar thing in the US? There are very successful Canadian companies that just have a better business model, and that's why they do well...

Roots is a very good example of keeping it Canadian. Same goes for Harvey's/Swiss Chalet/Second Cup (all part of Cara). And Aldo and La Senza, which are so successful, that it's gone into numerous other countries!
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  #62  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2005, 8:50 PM
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/\ Don't forget Bata. They're in pretty much every country on the planet.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2005, 9:02 PM
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as well, Tim Hortons is expanding in the US and has so far been very successful.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2005, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by circle33
/\ Don't forget Bata. They're in pretty much every country on the planet.
Except of course, in Canada ...

Bata to close last of its namesake stores
By MARINA STRAUSS

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bata Ltd. is closing the last of its namesake stores in Canada, marking the end of an era for the Toronto-based family shoe empire as it succumbs to fierce competition from titan Wal-Mart Canada Corp. and other rivals.

The company, which also has headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, will phase out its last 30 Bata shoe stores over the next few months — down from a peak of about 250 in the early 1980s, chairman David Marshall said.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2005, 10:45 PM
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Tim Horton's is growing like a weed in the US...but I don't know if I'd consider it Canadian. It's as Canadian as Sears, I guess. TH started in Canada, founded by a Canadian (hockey player even!), but then sold to Wendy's International. Sears is the opposite, it came in the 50s, but it's been around so long, it might as well be Canadian. I say grant it honorary citizenship.

Bata closing its namesake stores is a surprise too, but it'll keep its Athlete's World stores open in Canada, and will reenter the Canadian market someday.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2005, 5:43 AM
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Tim Hortons merged with Wendys, didn't sell it off to Wendys. Ron Joyce (former Hamilton cop) owns a large part of its share, even gained more when Dave Thomas died.

I read about a few weeks ago there's a bunch of investors thinking separating Tim Hortons and Wendys to further maximize their profit.

Quote:
Investor group buys stake in Wendy's

COLUMBUS, Ohio - For the third time in less than a month, an investor group has purchased a big stake in Dublin-based Wendy's International.

A division of Dutch bank ABN Amro revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it now owns nearly 5.7 million shares, or more than 5 percent, of the hamburger chain's stock.

The purchase follows similar moves by two private-investment groups.

Jay Anand, a business professor at Ohio State University, said these investors likely see an opportunity to boost Wendy's stock price, perhaps by pressing management to sell its Tim Hortons or Baja Fresh chains.
So it could go back into Canadian hands in the future.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2005, 8:56 AM
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Yes, it technically merged with Wendy's, but is now a subsidiary. So basically, to save face, it merged, and was not bought out. It's now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wendy's, though run separately.

From http://www.timhortons.com/en/about/faq.html#three
"Tim Hortons merged with Wendy’s International, Inc. in 1995. While we are a wholly owned subsidiary of Wendy’s, the Tim Hortons chain is still run completely separately from our head office in Oakville, Ontario, Canada."

Whatever, though. Potato, schmotato. It'll always be "Canada" to me
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  #68  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2005, 12:49 AM
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Lowes will be good for competition.

I can't stand Rona - expensive, poor selection and awful service. Revy/Revelstoke went down the toilet when Rona took over.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2005, 1:57 PM
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^ don't forget, they're from Quebec too.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2005, 4:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SSLL
^But couldn't you argue that it's not patriotism, but just that the American market is bigger, and makes it easier to succeed? Why there is Canadian Content rules in media, but not a similar thing in the US? There are very successful Canadian companies that just have a better business model, and that's why they do well...
True. But you can't argue that the average American considers it a higher priority to look for the "made in the USA" tag than the average Canadian looks for the "made in Canada" tag.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2005, 4:19 PM
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Originally Posted by harls
^ don't forget, they're from Quebec too.
You've noticed a theme there, eh?
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  #72  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2005, 5:32 PM
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Investors take hammer to Rona in wake of Lowe's invasion news
But some analysts say don't be hasty, the arrival of chain could be good news
By CAROLYN LEITCH
Friday, June 10, 2005 Page B11
INVESTMENT REPORTER

News that marquee home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. Inc. is shopping for locations in Canada has sent shares of homegrown Rona Inc. reeling.

But perhaps investors have been too hasty in hitting the sell button: Some analysts say the arrival of Lowe's is good news for Rona shareholders -- at least for a few years.

Yesterday, Rona shares rose 78 cents to $25.33 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, meaning the stock has tumbled 5.7 per cent since The Globe and Mail reported on June 2 that Lowe's, the No. 2 U.S. home improvement warehouse chain after Home Depot Inc., plans to open big-box stores in Canada, starting in the Toronto region.

When Lowe's confirmed the strategy on Monday, Rona shares fell 7.1 per cent to mark the stock's worst one-day performance since it began publicly trading in 2002. All in all, the news has knocked more than 11 per cent from Rona's market capitalization.

The selloff appears to be overdone in the opinion of Desjardins Securities analyst Keith Howlett, who upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold" as a result. He is maintaining his 12-month price target of $26. Mr. Howlett says his estimates for Rona's profits over the next two to three years are likely to increase, not decrease.

In a note to clients, the analyst says Lowe's impending arrival, which was confirmed by the company this week, may accelerate Rona's own store-opening plans and acquisitions.

For now Mr. Howlett is keeping his 2005 estimate at $1.45 a share and his 2006 estimate at $1.65, but he says those forecasts could rise if Rona steps up store openings.

He also suggests that the New Brunswick-based Irving family, which controls Kent Building Supplies, could consider selling the chain to Rona in light of Lowe's pending arrival.

Mr. Howlett has looked at the proliferation of Lowe's, Home Depot and Menards outlets in states such as Indiana and Michigan and figures that Canada could support about 400 big-box stores, or double the current number.

But the analyst cautions that Rona's strategy, which includes different store formats for different markets, could be tested when Lowe's gets up to speed in about five years -- or if the Canadian homeowner's obsession with buying and bettering houses cools off.

He also points out that Rona's stock price-to-earnings ratio of about 17.3 times this year's profit estimates is approximately on par with the valuations of its U.S. rivals. As a result of the uncertainties and the fairly rich stock price, he has tagged Rona shares "high risk."

At Canaccord Capital, analyst Benoît Caron says the magnitude of the recent selloff is exaggerated. He points out that Lowe's arrival will involve only six to 10 stores in Ontario for a start.

The Canadian home improvement retail market is valued at about $30-billion a year, Mr. Caron says, and, if it keeps growing at 4 per cent to 5 per cent a year, it would be worth $37-billion by the end of 2010.

"We believe Rona is at least four to five years away from feeling any pain from Lowe's northern expansion plans," he says in a note.

Mr. Caron points out that the market has not doled out harsh treatment to the shares of Sears Canada or Canadian Tire, even though the retailers sell power tools, paint, gardening supplies and other items that people use to fix up their homes.

He adds that Rona's most lucrative market is in Quebec, and he believes Lowe's is more likely to venture into Western Canada before it tackles Rona on its home turf.

He figures that Rona's strategy of operating under specialized banners, such as Rona Home and Garden big-box stores and the Lansing name, may shield it from more intense competition. Of the 16 big-box stores Rona operates in Ontario, he believes Lowe's poses a threat only to the eight located in Greater Toronto and, to a lesser extent, the seven Lansing stores.

In a sense, he says, the battle for Ontario's mega-outlet format has already been won by Home Depot Canada. Rona, meanwhile, won the battle for Quebec when it acquired Reno-Dépôt and its prime locations in Montreal. Mr. Caron is maintaining his "buy" recommendation with a 12-month target price of $27 on Rona shares.

But CIBC World Markets analyst Kathleen Wong says Rona shares could languish for the next couple of months to a year. She lowered her 12-to-18-month price target to $25 from $26 and kept her "sector performer" weighting.

While Ms. Wong believes the home improvement boom has some room to run -- helped in part by a recent reduction in mortgage insurance premiums -- she says investors could compress the P/E multiple of Rona in coming months because of the worry that competition is heating up.

Nuts and bolts

Since The Globe and Mail reported on June 2 that U.S. home improvement chain Lowe's plans to enter Canada, the shares of Rona Inc. have fallen 6% per cent. But some analysts are still positive on the stock.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2005, 8:54 AM
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Rona needs to retool in next 2 years to face U.S. rival Lowe's, analysts say
RITA TRICHUR Sun Jun 12,12:54 PM ET
TORONTO (CP) - Canadian home-improvement powerhouse Rona Inc. has just under two years to round out its retail portfolio and secure a vise-like grip on customer loyalty if it wants to avert a takeover by American Lowe's Cos. Inc., retail analysts say.

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The Mooresville, N.C.-based retailer has confirmed it will open six to 10 stores in the Greater Toronto Area starting in 2007, laying the foundations for a cross-Canada presence that could eventually include acquisitions.

"It is unusual that Lowe's would announce at this time that they are coming in two years because it certainly gives the incumbents that much time to prepare," said Ed Strapagiel, executive vice-president of Kubas Consultants.

"There is some speculation that this is a calculated move to get Rona to sell out."

Rona, headquartered in Boucherville, Que., is Canada's largest operator of home improvement stores with 566 outlets of varying sizes that are a mix of big-box, home-centre, hardware and other specialized formats.

Lowe's Canada president Doug Robinson told investors last week that his company will focus immediately on organic growth but left the door open for acquisitions down the road.

Analysts warn Canada's $28-billion home improvement market is unlikely to escape the "rule of two" which has seen retail boil down to two power stores in each sector.

With interest rates set to begin an upward crawl during the second half of 2005, and the housing starts past their 2004 peak, the home renovation market is expected to cool off by 2007, just as Lowe's arrives, lending credibility to that aphorism.

That means the clock is ticking for Rona to sew up its home base by establishing geographic dominance in Ontario, Quebec and the West and to fortify its sales to avoid being swallowed up by the American retail giant, which is second only to Home Depot south of the border.

"In other words, offensively protect your turf," said John Williams, founder of the J.C. Williams Group Ltd. "They have to finish completing their geographic coverage of the Toronto market with big-box stores."

There are still plenty of smaller, regionally-based chains across Canada that could become available if the price is right, said Strapagiel.

On Friday, CanWel Building Materials Ltd. said it has put the Pro Hardware store brand up for sale, saying it wants to focus on its main business of distributing lumber and other products to retailers.

Pro Hardware is a brand used by more than 500 independent hardware and building supply outlets across Canada, who pay for the brand's marketing programs, private label products, advertising and electronic catalogue, sometimes adopting the Pro Hardware store name.

Strapagiel said this is not the time for Rona to expand into the U.S. market.

"It is kind of a risky proposition," he said, noting a failed attempt by electronics retailer Future Shop to move down south.

"It is hard to see what special capability or resources that Rona could bring to a U.S. chain acquisition."

The other key challenge for Rona is to secure customer loyalty by creating a superior shopping experience based on high-quality service, merchandise, marketing and special events, he said.

Much like Rona - and to a lesser extent, Home Depot - Lowe's actively caters to women's tastes with wide aisles, bright lights and a merchandise mix that includes "softer" home decor products.

"It is going to be a question of whose customer base is going to be the most vulnerable," Strapagiel said.

"Rona has already demonstrated that it can successfully compete against Home Depot, so Rona is no pushover."

Originally founded in 1939, Rona rang up $4 billion in annualized retail sales last year.

That success is largely attributed to consolidation that began during the 1990s - coinciding with the arrival of U.S.-based Home Depot Canada - that saw Rona shore up its domestic holdings by snapping up rivals like Reno-Depot, Lansing, Revy, Revelstoke and the Building Box.

Portfolio managers and other analysts have suggested that Lowe's entry would continue to put downward pressure on Rona's stock. But company spokesman Sylvain Morissette said Rona will continue with its strategic plan which to build a domestic presence through new store construction, strategic acquisitions, recruitment of affiliated dealers and developing new store concepts.

The company's objective is to grow annualized retail sales to $7 billion by the end of 2007 and it will open 15 to 20 new stores of varying sizes each year over the next three years to help realize that goal.

"Our same-store sales are the best in the market during the last years," Morissette said.

"We do not manage differently because somebody will announce something in the market."

Rona's strength lies in its diversified formats, he added, noting the current trend toward one-size-fits-all will eventually lead to a big-box saturation.

"You know, it is in two years," Morissette said. "There is a lot of things are changing in the market everyday."

Rona's shares (TSX:RON - news) closed Friday at $24.90, down 43 cents, on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2005, 7:35 PM
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I wonder what they'll be selling? All the smaller older theaters, leaving behind all cinemas few people will want? Or will they have to sell some Silver City-style, large-scale cinemas? Anyone know which specific ones are being sold? I would think Rainbow Cinemas will want to buy some of the nicer ones. Some of the more urban ones might be bought up by Alliance Atlantis, and the bigger ones might be bought up by AMC, I would think.
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Cineplex buys Famous Players
By TAVIA GRANT
Monday, June 13, 2005 Updated at 1:58 PM EDT
Globe and Mail Update

Cineplex Galaxy LP said it agreed to buy the Famous Players unit from Viacom Inc. for $500-million, combining Canada's two largest movie-theatre companies.

As part of the transaction, Cineplex Galaxy will comply with a Competition Bureau stipulation that the company sell 35 theatres with annual box office revenues of almost $100-million.

Last fall, New York-based Viacom said it planned to sell its Famous Players arm in Canada, the largest movie exhibitor in this country with a market share of about 40 per cent. For months, industry observers have seen Cineplex, with a 31-per-cent share, as a top contender for the unit.

“Working in conjunction with Onex Corp., our largest unit holder and controlling partner, we are bringing together two great companies and are creating an exceptional opportunity to build value through an improved cost structure and expanded product offerings,” said Ellis Jacob, president and chief executive of Cineplex Galaxy.

Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund holds about 42 per cent of Cineplex Galaxy LP, while Toronto-based leveraged buyout firm Onex and other shareholders hold the balance. Onex currently owns 31 per cent of the outstanding income trust units and has a 100 per cent voting interest.

Famous Players operates at 81 locations with 787 screens across the country, including theatres in its joint ventures with Imax Corp. and its partnership with Alliance Atlantis. Cineplex Galaxy operates or has an interest in 86 theatres with 775 screens across Canada in six provinces.

Canada's competition bureau gave a green light for the move, provided Cineplex sell some theatres. The theatres to be divested are in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, St. Catharine's, Kitchener, Hamilton, Kingston, Ottawa, Toronto, Gatineau, Montreal and Quebec City.

“Our goal is to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from competitive prices and choice in the exhibition of first run motion pictures,” said Gaston Jorré, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition.

The move will leave Cineplex with 132 theatres in Canada. Remaining competitors in the movie-theatre landscape include AMC Theatres, based in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Rainbow/Magic Lantern movie chain.

The transaction, which includes about $36-million in capital lease obligations, is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to conditions.

Cineplex Galaxy plans to finance the transaction through a combination of debt and equity. Scotia Bank, RBC Capital Markets and National Bank Financial have provided commitments to finance the purchase price, the company said.

Last year, Famous Players had sales of $520-million while Cineplex Galaxy had sales of $354-million. Theatre level cash flow for the theatres to be divested was about $13-million last year.

“The Cineplex Galaxy management team has excelled in integrating businesses in the past and expects to realize significant operating synergies and improved EBITDA (earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization) from the combined companies as a result of this transaction,” said Mr. Jacob.

The companies hold a conference call to discuss the transaction at 11 a.m. EDT.

Units of Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund were unchanged at $14.20 in early trading in Toronto. Onex rose 7 cents to $19.22.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2005, 9:28 AM
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From paperbacks to popcorn, power couple strikes again
By RICHARD BLACKWELL
Tuesday, June 14, 2005 Page A1
With a report by Marina Strauss

Toronto power couple Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman, who already sell the majority of books bought in Canada, have boosted their take of the country's entertainment dollars by creating its biggest movie theatre business.

Cineplex Galaxy LP, controlled by Mr. Schwartz's Onex Corp., announced yesterday it will gobble up rival movie theatre chain Famous Players Inc., to form a blockbuster business controlling almost two-thirds of the Canadian market.

Cineplex will pay about $500-million to U.S. media giant Viacom Inc. for Famous Players.

They are the majority owners of Indigo, by far the largest book retailer in Canada with more than 250 stores under the names of Chapters, Indigo, Coles and others, ringing up about $800-million a year.

After absorbing its rival, Cineplex will have about 1,300 screens in 132 theatres in six provinces, or between 60 and 65 per cent of the Canadian industry. The only market where the merged entity will have no theatres is Eastern Canada, which is dominated by the Sobey family's Empire Theatres Ltd. chain.

It's been less than five years since Mr. Schwartz and Ms. Reisman, who have a private movie theatre in their Toronto mansion, swallowed the struggling book chain Chapters Inc. and merged it with Ms. Reisman's smaller, ailing Indigo Books and Music.

The Cineplex takeover of Famous Players has some parallels to the Chapters buyout.

To get approval of the deal from the federal Competition Bureau, Cineplex had to promise to sell about 35 theatres in 17 cities where the combined company was deemed too powerful. Those theatres -- in cities ranging in size from Toronto and Montreal to smaller centres such as Lethbridge, Alta., and Kingston -- could fetch as much as $100-million, analysts say.

When Indigo bought Chapters, the bureau said the new company had to sell 23 stores to other booksellers. In the end there were no takers, and Indigo shut some outlets.

The movie theatre transaction has sharp contrasts to the book deal, however. Mr. Schwartz and Ms. Reisman bought Chapters with their own money, and Ms. Reisman is chief executive officer of the bookseller. Cineplex, on the other hand, is controlled through Mr. Schwartz's public vehicle, Onex, and he is not directly involved in managing it.

Onex got into the movie game in 1999, when it helped form the Galaxy Entertainment Inc. chain with the goal of setting up theatres in underserved small and medium-sized markets.

Then in 2002, Onex got control of the North American-wide Loews Cineplex chain while it was under bankruptcy protection. Later, the U.S. theatres were sold at a huge profit, Galaxy and Cineplex's Canadian operations were merged, and a chunk of the venture was sold to investors as an income trust.

The deal for Famous Players will be a "major transforming event," Cineplex chief executive officer Ellis Jacob said yesterday. The Famous Players brand will likely be retained at many theatres, although the Paramount name used in the biggest city-centre theatres will have to be dropped because Viacom owns it. Cineplex may sell the naming rights for some of those theatres to companies that would like to see their name on a high-profile venue, Mr. Jacob said.

Should movie-goers expect to pay higher prices because of Mr. Schwartz's stranglehold on the Canadian business? Not likely, Mr. Jacob said, "I'm not a proponent of ticket price increases." Howard Lichtman, president of Toronto marketing consulting firm Lightning Group, said movie theatres face so much competition from other forms of entertainment that it is difficult for them to boost prices.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2005, 9:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug
Lowes will be good for competition.

I can't stand Rona - expensive, poor selection and awful service. Revy/Revelstoke went down the toilet when Rona took over.
Doug, for the first time I think I agree with you 100%

rona sucks ass.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2005, 8:29 PM
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Don't forget the Air Miles at Rona though! In Ontario, I think it made Lansing a lot better, it was crap.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2005, 8:44 PM
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The list of theatres is strictly confidential.

Guzzo the largest theatre chain in Quebec has declined to buy any of the theatres to be sold in Quebec, stating that they're so expensive to maintain and/or renovate that they prefer to build new theatres instead of acquiring rival ones.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2005, 9:35 PM
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I guess they're (Guzzo) more in the market for building suburban big ones too, rather than smaller ones downtown (though they have a big one at Marché Central, don't they)? I've heard for so long that AMC wants out of Le Forum 22, but nothing's happening. It'll be even harder to unload now that there's not as many players as before.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2005, 9:40 PM
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smaller locations in downtown montreal have almost all disappeared, Lowes, Centre-Ville, Le Berri, Desjardins, .... all closed in favor of big multiplexes even in downtown (paramount, amc 22, quartier latin).

The big one in Marché central hasn't opened yet, its in the final stages, I pass there everyday.

AMC wanting out? surprising, its packed most of the time I'm there... it may be due to their pricing scheme, they're the most expensive in regards to ticket price (unless you're a (fake) student).
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