Type of business: Cinémas
Contractors: Groupe Guzzo Constructions
Founded in: 1974
Méga-Plex Taschereau 18 (IMAX)
Méga-Plex Marché Central 18 (IMAX)
Méga-Plex Pont-Viau 16 (IMAX)
Méga-Plex Lacordaire 16
Méga-Plex Jacques-Cartier 14
Méga-Plex Sphèretech 14
Méga-Plex Terrebonne 14 (IMAX)
Méga-Plex Deux-Montagnes 14 (IMAX)
Cinéma Des Sources (IMAX)
Cinéma Sainte-Thérèse 8
Méga-Plex Saint-Jean 12 (winter 2019)
Cinémas Guzzo is a regional chain of movie theaters located in the Canadian province of Quebec. There are currently 8 Méga-Plex locations and 2 Cinema locations, all within the greater Montreal area. In July 2012, Cinémas Guzzo completed their conversion of all their projectors to digital projectors. That same year, saw the opening of five IMAX screens at selected existing locations.
Cinemas Guzzo was started by Angelo Guzzo shortly after immigrating to Canada.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After serving as the company's Executive Vice-President since 1990, as of 2018, Vincenzo took on the position of President, while Angelo currently serves as the company's Chairman.