Kitchener native Matt MacKinnon is bringing the movies back to the city's downtown with his new theatre, Apollo Cinema.
The theatre, which is in the basement of the office tower at the corner of Ontario Street and Duke Street, is the former Hyland Cinema which closed down in 1998. Now MacKinnon is revamping the space, installing a larger screen and a state of the art digital projector and sound system from Christie Digital.
"We want to make the Apollo a lively downtown venue again," said MacKinnon.
A former Toronto International Film Festival staffer, MacKinnon has extensive experience in the film industry. After years of long commutes to Toronto from his home in Kitchener, he says he was ready for a change, and jumped on the chance to take over the theatre.
Partners run historic theatre in Toronto
MacKinnon has partnered with two other film buffs, Andy Willick and Daniel Demois, who own and operate the Fox Theatre in Toronto, a Beaches neighbourhood institution that has been running for over 100 years.
"I met up with them at TIFF and we started talking about Kitchener and I brought them to town and now here we are," said MacKinnon.
The team is hoping to make the Apollo Cinema into a community hub, offering a space that can be used for a variety of different purposes, from big screen gaming tournaments to academy award show screening parties.
"We are a community theatre so we want to be there and be open for everything," said MacKinnon.
While the venue is still a work in progress, MacKinnon plans to have the theatre up and running in February.