The Paramount, the former flagship theatre of the Famous Players chain in Toronto, underwent a name change overnight this week, caught in the crossfire of synergy between the place's new owner, the Cineplex chain, and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Now when I make plans to go to a movie I'll have to say something like this: "Hey, let's go see Ghost Rider tonight - I'll meet you outside the Scotiabank at 9 o'clock."
Famous Players was part-owned by Viacom at the time the place opened (it was called 'Festival Hall' while it was being built, in a brazen attempt to court TIFF as it's future home, which didn't quite work out the way it was planned...) so it made semi-sense to name the place the Paramount, which at least is a historical movie theatre name in the United States. Renaming it the Scotiabank to me seems shameless and boring, though I'm sure the Cineplex/Scotiabank marketing departments could talk my ears off with why it's the perfect name for a movie theatre. Here's an attempt, from the story in the Toronto Star:
"We're rewarding customers for doing what they already do: go to movies and do their banking," said Scotiabank spokesperson John Doig.
The whole enterprise revolves around the idea that audiences would go to the movies to participate in a rewards program. I guess if you go to first-run movies a lot, it may now also be easier to secure a loan to support your habit.
To make matters worse, unlike the artists' rendition of the new facade seen above, here's what it looks like in real life - it might be temporary, but I have a feeling (a prayer, really) the whole idea is temporary...
But they shouldn't stop the rethinking there - maybe they can address the damn Klingon ship they have dangling over the dizzying escalators. Or maybe they can do something about what I call the epileptic's entrance (a nondescript, non-warp-speed elevator hiding to the left of the box office area). Speed that puppy up!
And get rid of the giant Rubik's Cube! And make it easier to find the concession stand! I got points to cash in!