Leafs heading to big screen

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:51 AM ET

Pass the puck and pass the popcorn, the Maple Leafs are coming to the silver screen.

Select Leafs TV games in high definition will be shown at 25 Cineplex Entertainment Theatres in southern Ontario, putting Johnny Depp on the same bill as John Pohl. The cost will be $8.95 a ticket for kids 3 to 12, $10.95 for all others.

"We've done this with teams in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa ," said Georgia Sourtzis, communications manager for Cineplex. "The Leafs came to us and we think it will be very viable in Toronto, too.

"In the other cities, we've sold out theatres from 100 to 400 seats. People get right into it; they stand up for the national anthem and sing, they cheer, they do everything they would at a regular game, watching on a screen that's 30 feet or 50 feet."

Sourtzis said fans will have access to all theatre concessions and will get wall-to-wall curved screens in Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

"We've done it with wrestling for many years and it has been successful," she said.

The first of seven games will be the Leafs versus the Florida Panthers on Nov. 2.

"Watching Darcy Tucker deliver a body check or Mats Sundin score a goal on a 50- foot movie screen in high definition gives fans the feeling they are inches from the ice," Chris Hebb, senior vice-president of broadcast for Leafs TV said in a release.

The Leafs will join forces with Cineplex to donate $1 from every ticket to The Captains' Fund, a bursary to young hockey players to help the registration costs for minor hockey programs.

Participating GTA theatres include most Silver City locations, Cineplex Odeon Eglinton Town Centre, Paramount and Colossus Toronto.


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