About Guzzo Cinemas

Following his arrival in Quebec from Italy in 1967, Mr. Angelo Guzzo became one of the pioneers of independent multi-screen movie theatres in Canada. As a talented, responsible and warm-hearted businessman, who is also a man of his word, Mr. Angelo Guzzo built a solid reputation for himself in movies, earning widespread respect in the industry. For many years, he led the struggle for independent movie theatre owners to obtain the right to project first-run movies, thus opening the way for others.

Guzzo Cinemas are first and foremost a passionate family story. Today, both father and son work as a team to bring moviegoers the best cinema has to offer. Mr. Angelo Guzzo is President of the company and his son, Vincenzo, has been Executive Vice-President since 1990. As an only child, he started going to the movies with his parents when he was four and soon became fascinated with the selection of movies. He developed what he calls a flair for a good film. During his teens, he was actively involved in the family business. His father took him along on many business trips to the United States to select movies for their programming.

In 1974, Mr. Angelo Guzzo became owner of the Cinema Capri on Hochelaga Street in Montreal. He renamed it Le Paradis and made extensive renovations. Further renovations in 1976 made him the first independent owner in Montreal to open a movie complex with three screens.

The recession of the 80s did not dampen Mr. Angelo Guzzo's ambition or determination. During this time, he built Cinema Astre, a four-screen complex, in St. Léonard. The year before, he purchased a two-screen movie theatre in Mascouche, which was forced to close in 1985 because he could not obtain films for suburban movie theatres from American distributors. This situation was resolved in the late 80s as a result of Mr. Angelo Guzzo's efforts and interventions before the Fournier Commission investigating cinema.

Always in search of new ideas, he was the first to offer 99-cent movies at Cinema Paradis, and 'half-price' Wednesdays. Aware that many municipalities in his area had no movie theatres, Mr. Angelo Guzzo opened Cinema Terrebonne in 1990. This large, ultra-modem eight-screen complex was designed and built entirely by Groupe Guzzo Construction Inc. Its highly sophisticated state-of-the art equipment became the new industry standard. The following year he opened another high-tech movie centre called Cinema Langelier in St. Léonard.

On May 28, 1993, Mr. Angelo Guzzo inaugurated the Cinema Sainte-Thérèse, whose original architecture destined it for a brilliant career in the development of multi-screen movie theatres. In addition to high-tech equipment that made it possible to enjoy movies more fully, the theatre's interior décor featured a multitude of elements that were not only unique in Quebec and Canada, but also right across North America.

On October 13, 1994, Cinema Lacordaire in St. Léonard was inaugurated, replacing the Astre cinema. This new and innovative 11-screen complex was original, elegant and exceptionally comfortable - the hallmark qualities on which Guzzo Cinemas built their international notoriety.

June 1998 marked the beginning of a major legal debate on film monopoly. Mr. Vincenzo Guzzo took an active part in this struggle which opposed independent movie theatre owners to industry giants such as Dreamworks (Coscient International), Famous Players, Cineplex Odeon and Paramount. In July, an injunction was filed in Provincial Court against Dreamworks for their refusal to distribute their films. The parties have now come to an agreement. Other complaints have been filed against Famous Players and Cineplex Odeon for disloyal practice and against Paramount for refusing to distribute their films to Famous Players' competitors. Mr. Vincenzo Guzzo is in charge of this hot, ongoing issue.

In July 1998 on the West Island, Cinema des Sources 10, with its 10 state-of-the-art screens, became a member of the Guzzo Cinemas family. The opening of this theatre launched a new era for Guzzo Cinemas: the era of recreation centres featuring not only movie theatres but also a Café-Hollywood restaurant and virtual-reality games.

On October 22, 1998, the Mega-Plex ®® Taschereau 18 opened its doors in Greenfield Park. With 18 screens and 4,500 seats, this is Canada's largest theatre/recreational complex, covering an area of over 100,000 square feet and featuring movie screens, a carousel, bumper cars, an arcade and a kiddies' playground. On December 10, 1998, Guzzo Cinemas opened Mega-Plex ®® Pont-Viau 16 in Laval, a complex capable of accommodating 4,000 moviegoers with 16 screens. On May 13, 1999, Guzzo Cinemas inaugurated the Mega-Plex ®® Spheretech 14, a 14-screen complex that marked the return of movie theatres to St. Laurent after an absence of 25 years.

In March 2000, Cinémas Guzzo once again expanded with the opening of the Méga-Plex® Centre Jacques-Cartier 14, a cinema complex in Longueuil.

The following few years were calmer. Cinémas Guzzo took the time to redesign and expand their two existing complexes. The Méga-Plex® Lacordaire was completely transformed and went from hosting 11 to 16 cinemas, and the Terrebonne theatre became the Méga-Plex® Terrebonne 14.

In 2006, Cinémas Guzzo entered yet another wave of expansion with the birth of a new generation of avant-garde entertainment centres. The Méga-Plex® Deux-Montagnes 14 opened in May 2005, and in June of that same year and after ten years of anticipation, the Méga-Plex® Marché Central 18 opened its doors.

And so 39 years after arriving in Canada, Mr. Angelo Guzzo has become the leading independent cinema theatre owner in Quebec. He now owns 141 screens spread across 10 theatre complexes. And the business is likely to stay in the family, with his son Vincenzo already an active member of the business. Father and son hope that Angelo II, Vittorio Emanuele, Vito, Delano and Rossella - Vincenzo’s children, will also have a passion for cinema and that the third generation will carry on the family tradition. The company intends on expanding its presence in the province in the coming years.

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