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No TimePlay for Burnaby movie fans as Cineplex dumps app

The app helped people earn Scene points
Cineplex photo

Burnaby movie goers won’t be able to score extra Scene anymore through TimePlay.

Well, when the theatre at Metropolis at Metrotown reopens.

Cineplex has dumped the technology company that operates the movie trivia app.

TimePlay gave Cineplex moviegoers an opportunity to test their cinematic knowledge while earning Scene points and interacting with advertisements on the big screen.

When it launched, TimePlay was a minor sensation that, for a time, caught the attention of U.S. movie chains.

Over the years, Cineplex expanded TimePlay to 56 of its more than 160 theatres across Canada.

Cineplex is currently building a new five-screen VIP theatre at Burnaby’s Amazing Brentwood mall. It was supposed to open in the middle of 2020, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, since the start of the pandemic, Cineplex's financial model has been pummelled as provincial leaders closed movie theatres and Hollywood delayed the release of many anticipated blockbusters.

Owners of TimePlay began looking for alternate routes to users during the shutdown, launching an at-home trivia night through the phone app on Thursdays.

Sarah Van Lange, a representative for Cineplex, said ending the business partnership with TimePlay came as the exhibitor made "some really tough decisions since the pandemic began to stabilize our financial position."

One of those calls was reflecting on business partnerships, she added.

In December, Cineplex announced it would shore up $57 million by selling its Toronto headquarters and using that money to repay debt. 

A separate $60-million agreement extended its Scene loyalty partnership with Scotiabank to offer new reward redemption options.

  • With files from Canadian Press