Cineplex to open movie theatre at IWK Health Centre
February 1, 2017
HALIFAX – The IWK Health Centre has announced that Cineplex, in partnership with the hospital and the IWK Foundation, will be transforming the O.E. Smith Auditorium into a new theatre where patients and their families can watch movies and other entertainment.
“It just seems to be such a great fit … to be able to offer this escapism to people who need it most,” Pat Marshall, Cineplex spokeswoman, said about being first approached by the hospital. The movies will be free for patients and their families, and the new theatre is scheduled to open in May.
Marshall said the new theatre will hold 121 seats, and most importantly be “super flexible” to adapt to patients who may be in wheelchairs, stretchers, or beds. The layout could change depending on what’s needed at the time, Marshall said, but it will likely be a combination of seats and open spaces so staff can “set it up accordingly.”
Marshall said the new space is more like a special event theatre that can be used for movie screenings, since it will also host meetings, lectures and presentations for the hospital and IWK Foundation.
There will be a lot of new audio-visual technology used for movies and educational aspects, Marshall said, and they will “certainly be looking” at adaptations for kids that are hearing or visually impaired.
Just like a public cinema, Marshall said patients and families will be able to see new releases via the Cineplex Store, which holds thousands of titles.
“The hospital will be programming it … if they wanted to do a chick night or a Valentine’s special they could have some movies that fit that genre, or if they wanted a scary night around Halloween,” Marshall said.
“They’re only going to be limited by their imagination to come up with themes.”
Marshall said the IWK’s theatre will be the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada, and while Cineplex has been involved with a couple others in Ontario, this is the first time they’ve lent their name to a theatre located inside a hospital.
Numbers on how much the project will cost aren’t being released yet, but Marshall said details will be shared when the theatre opens.