The closing credits have rolled for the last time at CinéStarz-Cinémas Laurentiens in Grenville.
The two-screen movie theatre, which was the only cinéma between the Montreal and Ottawa areas, closed during the final week of September. The Montreal-based CinéStarz chain, which had operated the cinema since 2021, chose not to renew its lease for the building due to a lack of sufficient business.
“There was nobody coming,” said CinéStarz owner Bruce Gurberg.
He said there were only two or three people showing up to see movies.
“We had not had a big day in months,” said Gurberg.
Film distribution companies were beginning to refuse supplying movies to the Grenville location because of insufficient revenue.
“It blows my mind, because there’s no other alternative (for cinéma) in the area,” Gurberg said.
CinéStarz took over the operation of Cinémas Laurentiens in October of 2021, when the previous owners, Danielle Lacasse and Yvon Myner, retired after owning and operating the business for 50 years. Lecasse and Myner had sold the property to a developer who plans to demolish the building and construct condominiums on the site. CineStarz had agreed to lease the cinema space for a year.
There was a possibility CinéStarz could operate a new cinéma inside the proposed condominium building. However, in April of 2022, Gurberg said that was unlikely, due to low attendance at the existing theatre. He said at the time that the future of the movie theatre in Grenville was not looking good.
Gurberg said he does feel bad for the loyal customers that CinéStarz-Cinémas Laurentiens did have.
CinéStarz had been offering multiple screenings of movies per day at the Grenville location. CinéStarz owns seven other movie theatres in the Montreal area – two in Ottawa, and one in Burlington Ontario.