TORONTO — The corporate renaming of theaters made further inroads in Toronto on Monday when it was announced that the New Yorker Theater is changing its name to the Panasonic Theater, effective immediately.
The 750-seat space will host “Blue Man Group,” which is scheduled to open late this spring under the auspices of Clear Channel Entertainment Theatrical Canada.
Clear Channel has announced it is spending C$15 million ($12.3 million) to gut and refurbish the property in order to turn it into “a high-end, technically superb theater.”
Reps for Panasonic would not reveal the exact amount of its financial contribution, other than to call it “a significant investment on Panasonic’s part worth several million dollars.”
Reliable sources put the figure at $3.3 million, spread over 10 years.
Other prominent title swaps in the last decade include the Pantages becoming the Canon, in honor of the copying giant, and the O’Keefe Center changing its name to the Hummingbird after a Canadian software company.
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Panasonic is expected to contribute more than $200,000 of state-of-the art audiovisual equipment to enhance the theater and its lobby, including its latest 65″ high-definition plasma TV.
The venue at 651 Yonge St. was in operation as a legit house from March 1993, when it opened with “Forever Plaid,” through July 2004, when it closed with “Cookin’ at the Cookery.”
The property was built in 1911 and had operated as a movie theater from 1934 through 1992, under the names Embassy, Astor, Festival and Showcase.