Cineplex Odeon Films

Cineplex Odeon Films (also known as Cineplex Odeon Pictures and Cineplex-Odeon Films) was the film distribution unit of the Canadian cinema chain Cineplex Odeon Corporation.

The company began in 1978 as Pan-Canadian Film Distributors, a partnership between film producer Garth Drabinsky and inventor Nat Taylor,[1] based in Toronto, Ontario.[2] At the time of its establishment in the United States, the Cineplex Odeon theatre chain and the tie-in studio were owned by the MCA entertainment group, also the then-owners of Universal Pictures. On August 27, 1986, Pan-Canadian renamed itself as Cineplex Odeon Films,[3] and began operations at Los Angeles, California in November 1986;[4] Garth Drabinsky became its chief officer.[5] By 1990, it was Canada's largest independent film distribution company.[6] Later in the 1990s, it changed its name to Odeon Films on account of its historic significance, before releasing one of their final films—the science-fiction film Cube (released in American markets under Trimark Pictures' banner).

In early 1998, Cineplex Odeon itself was forced to scrap its distribution arm, provided Canadian law forbids foreign companies from owning domestic distributors. 75% of the remaining studio folded into Alliance Atlantis Communications; the rest was donated to a foundation representing Canada's film schools. The company is now defunct. The owner of Cineplex Odeon Films, Alliance Films has folded into Entertainment One in 2013.[7]

The theatre chain of the same name, meanwhile, merged with the Japanese electronics giant Sony; this resulted in the formation of Loews Cineplex Entertainment later on.

Notable films from Cineplex Odeon's early days include The Glass Menagerie, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Grifters, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, Madame Sousatzka, Jacknife, the Prince concert film Sign o' the Times, The Decline of the American Empire, Oliver Stone's Talk Radio, and The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland.

There was also a home video division that started in 1986, and was originally known as Pan-Canadian Video Presentations in the early 80s. The home video division lasted until 1998, when it was absorbed into Alliance Atlantis along with its film distribution counterpart.

The company also had an international division, Cineplex Odeon Films International, meant for distributing their films outside of North America.


  1. Wise, Wyndham, ed. (2001). "Appendix 1: A Chronology of Canadian Film and Television". Take One's Essential Guide to Canadian Film. University of Toronto Press. p. 246. ISBN 0-8020-8398-6.
  2. The Canadian Press (CP) (July 25, 1985). "Demand increases for death movie after protests". The Leader-Post. p. A 13. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  3. "Cineplex Odeon Corp.Film Distribution Unit Changes Name". Standard & Poor's Daily News. McGraw-Hill. August 29, 1986.
  4. The Canadian Press (CP) (November 14, 1986). "Cineplex forms film-distribution subsidiary". Montreal Gazette. p. B-8. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  5. Kasindorf, Martin (November 8, 1987). "Movie Houses Turn Movie Makers: Capturing big-name film makers and releasing their heartfelt projects has brought prestige to Cineplex Odeon, an aggressive company that entered the movie-making business just a year ago. / In the Film Business, They Call Him 'Garth Vader'". Newsday. p. 09 (Part 2). Retrieved November 4, 2010. (registration required (help)).
  6. Kipps, Charles (1990). Out of Focus: Power, Pride, and PrejudiceDavid Puttnam in Hollywood. Century. p. 255. ISBN 0-7126-3911-X. One of [Cineplex Odeon Corporation's] divisions, Cineplex-Odeon Films, quickly became Canada's largest independent film distributor, leading to a joint venture with Robert Redford's production entity, Wildwood Enterprises, as well as other Hollywood filmmakers.

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