Single-screen theatre with 80-year history in Halifax closing its doors

Single-screen theatre with 80-year history in Halifax closing its doors

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The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 31, 2017 11:51AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:53PM EDT

HALIFAX — It is where Haligonians watched “Casablanca,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “The Graduate” and “Titanic.”

The Oxford Theatre — a grand, standalone movie house not far from some of Halifax’s most expensive homes — will soon be closing its doors.

Cineplex has announced that the 80-year-old Quinpool Road fixture will shut down on Sept. 13 after being sold to a local business — Nanco Group — owned by the Nahas family.

“The decision to sell the Oxford was not an easy one as we share the community’s love for the theatre and respect the important role it has played in the city’s history,” Daniel Seguin, Cineplex’s vice president of operations for eastern Canada, said in a news release.

“Back in 1937 when the Oxford first opened, single screen theatres were the norm but today multiplex cinemas provide our guests with many film choices in one location.”

Norman Nahas, its new owner, said plans for the building have not been finalized, but he is looking at number of options.

“We are looking at multiple uses for the space including retail, office and residential so stay tuned for what the next 80 years of the Oxford’s history will look like,” he said in the release.

The Oxford has recently favoured independent films and art house titles, sometimes leaving the theatre mostly vacant. But during the release of “Maudie,” the theatre was brimming with movie-goers eager to watch the story of a Nova Scotia artist whose hands were riddled with arthritis.

Those types of titles will now play at Cineplex’s nearby Park Lane location.

To celebrate its 80-year history, Cineplex is showing a number of fan favourites that have played at the Oxford over the years, including “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Grease” and “Gone with the Wind.”

Proceeds from the $5 screenings will be donated to the IWK Foundation, which raises money for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

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