Ottawa's ByTowne Cinema to reopen under new owners

·1 min read
Andy Willick, left, and Daniel Demois, right, seen here at Fox Theatre in Toronto, are avid fans of art house films. (Ryan Couldrey - image credit)
Andy Willick, left, and Daniel Demois, right, seen here at Fox Theatre in Toronto, are avid fans of art house films. (Ryan Couldrey - image credit)

Two new owners with plenty of experience running independent movie theatres have taken over Ottawa's ByTowne Cinema.

Daniel Demois and Andy Willick have owned and operated Toronto's Fox Theatre since 2007, and in 2014 they purchased the Apollo Cinema in Kitchener, Ont. Now they're preparing to unreel another chapter at the ByTowne.

Willick said the duo have long admired the ByTowne for its daring programming and devoted fanbase of local cinephiles.

"We just wanted to continue on the legacy of the place," he said.

Willick said they plan to reopen the ByTowne, which announced its closure in December, in the fall. He said the programming won't change much, but the new owners plan to offer some new features such as unlimited memberships and a remote viewing option for select titles. They also plan to obtain a licence to serve alcoholic beverages, Willick said.

Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press
Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press

Demois is preparing to move to Ottawa to help manage the reopening and make connections with the community.

"We see a lot of potential to work with other businesses and other organizations to do interesting community events and stuff like that at the theater," he said.

The partners are taking over from longtime owner Bruce White, who praised Demois and Willick in a statement issued Thursday.

"These two have experience, enthusiasm, and I'm beyond excited to see them carry on the ByTowne story," said White.

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