Mayfair Theatre requests 30-year cinema monopoly

This is the release we sent to city council, and to all Ottawa media this morning. We wanted to share it with you, too.


from the Mayfair Theatre

Ottawa’s oldest surviving independent cinema follows example of Roger Greenberg and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and requests a 30-year cinema monopoly

In an interview this morning, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) member Roger Greenberg spoke eloquently about the potential impact of unfairly subsidized competition on his business.

We at the Mayfair Theatre feel for Mr. Greenberg and his partners, because, with a taxpayer-subsidized plan to build a new multi-screen cinema at Lansdowne recently revealed, we know exactly what he’s facing. So when he suggests that the only way to deal with the threat of potential competition is to prevent it by negotiating a monopoly with the City of Ottawa, we couldn’t agree more.

In fact, we would like to follow his example. After reviewing some of the details of the proposed deal between the City of Ottawa and OSEG, we would like to suggest that the City sign a similar agreement with the Mayfair, one that stipulates:

  • The City of Ottawa will not subsidize or otherwise support the building of a cinema that competes with the Mayfair, anywhere within the city limits.
  • If any new cinema is built with the support of the City of Ottawa, the partners of Mayfair Theatre will have the first chance to lease the space. A competitive process will not be allowed.
  • Further, if the City of Ottawa supports building any new cinema, the Mayfair partners will also have the right to terminate their current lease, and the City (and its taxpayers) will assume all operational costs and responsibilities, and any debts remaining.

This agreement would remain in force for 30 years.

Oh, and if the city could reduce our rent to $1 per year for the same term (30 years) and pass all our building and renovation expenses along to taxpayers (we humbly agree to cap those expenses at $129,000,000.00), while allowing us to keep any and all profits, that would be great, too.

To echo Mr. Greenberg, “It stands to reason from our perspective that if a new cinema is erected by the city, with the limited number of movies that could possibly come to a cinema, it would have a very detrimental effect on the existing cinema, and that would affect both ourselves and the city.”

As taxpayers, we are partners in OSEG’s venture, and to quote Mr. Greenberg directly, “you would not want your own partner to go out and to create a competitive situation somewhere else.”

Amen, Mr. Greenberg. Amen.

On behalf of the cast and crew of the Mayfair Theatre, and in solidarity with the brave, beleaguered members of OSEG,

Lee Demarbre

Ian Driscoll

Petr Maur

Josh Stafford

Learn more about OSEG’s 30-year monopoly deal here:

and here:

If you’d like to let city council know how you feel about OSEG and the Lansdowne deal, or to propose your own monopoly, why not email them right now? Just copy and paste these addresses:

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

James Welsh

Travesty is going to cost the taxpayer a bundle and leave the Glebe and Ottawa South looking like Merivale road. Such a pile of crap. In my opinion if Landsdown is to developed, it should just be turned into a huge padded room.

Reply · August 19, 2019

Dan Imbrogno

This is great guys. I had a good laugh when I read this. Best of luck in the battle!

Reply · August 19, 2019

Lisa B - Glebe

Well said guys!! I hope you sent that to City Council and everyone else you can think of. You are so RIGHT! Hope you’re out at the rally Monday at lunch. We have to stop this ‘deal’. It’s terrible for the neighbourhood AND the city!

Reply · August 19, 2019



Reply · August 19, 2019

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