Film lovers sad to see theatre options shrink with the closure of Cineplex location in Windsor

Cineplex is closing its Walker Road location based on pre-pandemic attendance levels.  (Jacob Barker/CBC News - image credit)
Cineplex is closing its Walker Road location based on pre-pandemic attendance levels. (Jacob Barker/CBC News - image credit)

News that the Walker Road Silver City movie theatre is set to close is sparking reaction among Windsorites.

Cineplex announced its decision to not renew its lease this month, citing low pre-pandemic attendance levels.

"Silver City was the place to go to when you're in high school you can go watch movies with friends, stay out of trouble," said Drew Hyttenrauch, who works as a cinematographer in the southwestern Ontario city.

The Cineplex Odeon Devonshire Mall Cinemas location will remain open.

Hyttenrauch said it's sad to see the number of options to catch a flick shrink in the city. He adds the closure feels like it'll push more people to stay home to watch streaming services on the small screen.

"It's sad because it was a part of Windsor and we're losing that thing that we all shared experiences with growing up," he said.

Jacob Barker/CBC News
Jacob Barker/CBC News

The closure is also expected to impact nearby restaurant Quesada, which shares a lot with the theatre.

Restaurant supervisor Melissa Stewart said having Silver City nearby meant many customers were looking for a "dinner and a movie" experience.

"It's actually very sad, like it's just something to do with the family and everything. So it's like a little hobby that people could do and it's kinda of breaking because it's closing," said Stewart.

The closure of the Walker Road location also comes as a concern for Vincent Georgie, executive director of the Windsor International Film Festival. He fears less theatre space may impact what movies are shown locally.

Georgie explains most markets will play box office hits, but when there's extra screens more diverse content gets a shot at the big screen.

"There have actually been some great Canadian films that have been shown at Silver City," said Georgie. "Recently they have been bringing in some other music films, some indie films as well. That's what evaporates."

Katerina Georgieva/CBC
Katerina Georgieva/CBC

While many theatres have remained closed through various points of the pandemic, Georgie said current market trends indicate there's a desire for theatre viewing.