Mirvish Productions Buys Toronto's Canon and Panasonic Theatres

News   Mirvish Productions Buys Toronto's Canon and Panasonic Theatres
 
Key Brand Entertainment CEO John Gore announced Aug. 26 the sale of the 2,300-seat Canon Theatre and the 700-seat Panasonic Theatre — two major Toronto theatres — to Mirvish Productions.
The Canon Theatre
The Canon Theatre

In accordance with Key Brand's loan agreements entered into at the time of Key Brand's acquisition of Broadway Across America, "the proceeds are being used to retire term loans from JP Morgan and subordinated notes from Aramid Entertainment Fund."

"This is a great moment for the company and its shareholders," stated Gore. "The sale of these two venues and the payback of these loans allow Key Brand Entertainment to now focus exclusively on our main priorities — programming and production."

The sale of the two theatres to Mirvish Productions was led by Key Brand Entertainment chairman Thomas B. McGrath and David B. Stern, Key Brand's EVP and general counsel, who headed the transaction team, which included Thomas MacDonald and Ken Herlin from the Goodmans law firm in Toronto, as well as Fred Gartside and Ken Bovard from Los Angeles-based Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro. Mirvish was represented by Howard Drabinsky and William Rowlands of Lang Michener LLP.

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Built in 1920, the Canon has been programmed and operated by Mirvish since Sept. 1, 2001, when he entered into a long-term lease for the building with the landlord SFX (which subsequently became Clear Channel and then Live Nation). The 2,300-seat venue was sold by Live Nation in January 2008 to New York-based Key Brand Entertainment. Among shows Mirvish produced and presented in the Canon since 2001 are The Producers, Contact, Disney's Aida, The Graduate, Movin' Out, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, Monty Python's Spamalot, Wicked and the current production of We Will Rock You (which has moved to the Panasonic).

"As part of our lease of the Canon," David Mirvish said in a statement earlier this year, "we have a right of first negotiation for the purchase of the building. As we have had a wonderful experience at this theatre, we are very happy to be able to exercise our right to acquire the building. We look forward to continuing our programming of the best of Broadway, West End and world theatre. In fact, many of the shows in our 2008-09 subscription season will be presented at the Canon."

The Panasonic Theatre, at 651 Yonge Street, opened in June 2005 as a newly constructed 700-seat theatre on the site of the old New Yorker Theatre, a spot that has had a long history of entertainment in Toronto.

"The Panasonic will be a welcome addition," Mirvish stated. "Its relatively intimate auditorium will allow us to program shows we wouldn't easily be able to do in our larger venues, giving us more opportunities to transfer local productions from the city's exciting alternative companies and to employ more Canadian artists. Its proximity to the center of the city, Yonge and Bloor, means it is easily accessible by public transit to almost all Torontonians."

Visit www.mirvish.com.

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