Editorial: Anything but the last picture show

“We were a movie theatre company; now we’re an entertainment company.”

For those of us of a certain vintage, the allure of the movie theatre will always be etched indelibly in our minds.

The original neon-flashing Main St. movie house. The “mall” double-screen theatres. The bug-swatting hot summer nights at the cottage drive-in. The thrifty second-run theatres in university days. And of course the multi-theatre concepts of today, resplendent with VIP services and options.

On many occasions, we have watched the movie theatre industry grow and adapt to the times, to new cultures and evolving clientele, with innovative products and services. It has survived and thrived, frequently fending off inevitable downturns and its supposed demise.

Less known are the topsy-turvy roller-coaster rides that entertainment companies such as Cineplex Inc. have endured behind the scenes—the risks, the gambles, the successes, the failures and the lessons learned going forward.

No worries. Our writer Terri Goveia superbly takes us right to the boardrooms and backrooms as she gives us a front-row seat in her article “Cineplex—the Sequel”.

Her up-close interviews with Cineplex Inc. C-suite executives will take you on a wild ride of acquisitions, near-bankruptcies, ultimatums, downsizing and new philosophies, and highlights a most important takeaway: work out the non-economic factors of relationships. They are words to remember; be sure to read the story to find out what those factors are.

It could be countered that the Cineplexes of the world are no different than other businesses in the market adjustments they make, the planning they do, the risks they take and the innovation that results.

But the fascination factor we have with entertainment companies and their products makes them a special breed. Because of viewers like us, they are all about never standing still. They are all about new audiences, and most importantly, they are all about staying ahead of the curve to deliver on our passions. Semi-spoiler alert: Cineplex’s next big venture is a mind-blower.

On our cover: You’re right to view our cover image as unsettling. It is meant to be. So why the semi-positive cover lines on our Special Report about investing in Latin America? You will discover when you read the stories that, through the dark and deadly and distressing, there are glimmers of light for investors. That’s especially so in Mexico, where the locals feel they are “ya merito,” or “almost there”—on the brink of greatness. It’s far from an overall pretty picture, as some stories relate, but opportunities are definitely drawing interest from a growing number of Canadian business sectors.

And what would this issue be without coverage of the risks surrounding the now-underway Olympic Games in Rio? Zika virus, pollution, crime and more: we’ve got that covered too, and there is more than meets the eye.

Copyright © 2016 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the Fall 2016 edition of Corporate Risk Canada magazine

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