Apollo Cinema, a new independent, single-auditorium movie theatre has claimed its place in downtown Kitchener.
After operating Fox Theatre in Toronto the owners have big ideas for their newest venture. One of their approaches is offering beer and wine to theatre-goers.
Owners Andy Willick, Daniel Demois and Matt MacKinnon are aiming to appeal to the growing student population in Kitchener-Waterloo.
“I think that students and alcohol is a natural combination, but also we like cult movies, we like horror movies and I think playing that stuff will tailor to the students and hopefully get students out to those events,” Willick said.
“There’s probably more of a student audience for horror movies and some of the more unique things that there are.”
Support for the theatre goes beyond the student population. An opening evening hosted a number of community partners eager to take-in flicks and host events in the new downtown space.
The cinema has revamped the somewhat historical building at 141 Ontario Street in the middle of downtown Kitchener. According to Willick, the location was once a Hyland Odeon theatre that was open for over 25 years.
“We took out all the seats, we put a new carpet in, we rebuilt the snack bar,” he continued.
“We did it from scratch to get it just the way we wanted it, so it’s been kind of intense.”
Willick said opening the cinema in this location has made them a part of the revitalization of Kitchener’s growing downtown core.
“A lot of people are moving back to the downtown and working in the downtown with the expansion of some of the local companies,” said Willick.
Expecting to partner with local microbrewers and chocolatiers, the Apollo is looking forward to opening with little fear of being overlooked in a world of online streaming and Netflix.
“You have food in your fridge but you still go out to eat, right,” Willick continued.
“As much as things are more accessible than they used to be, you can’t ever replace going to a comedy and laughing together as a group — that doesn’t go away. [Watching at home is] less of an experience than coming to a theatre and sitting with other people in a group and watching a movie together”