Rainbow Cinemas and Magic Lantern Theatres operate movie theatres in Canada. The Rainbow Cinemas chain was founded in the 1990s in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, while the Magic Lantern Theatres chain was founded in 1984 in Edmonton, Alberta. Rainbow Cinemas originally concentrated on suburban multiplex second run theaters, but later added several first run locations, with lower than average admission pricing. Magic Lantern focused on first run theaters both in cities and small towns. The two chains merged and are now based in Edmonton. In May 2016 a strategic decision was made to sell all of the Ontario cinemas except the one in Cobourg to Imagine Cinemas from Windsor best running hydration, Ontario. Magic Lantern and Rainbow now operate 9 cinemas with a total of 36 screens across Canada.
Magic Lantern always operated first run cinemas, while Rainbow’s primary business strategy was originally to screen recent Hollywood films that are no longer airing in major cinema chains at a reduced ticket price.
The chain currently operates Rainbow Cinemas theatres in Regina, Saskatoon (2),and Magic Lantern Theatres in Camrose, Peace River, St. Paul, Whitecourt, and Fort Saskatchewan. Magic Lantern was responsible for restoring the interior of the formerly derelict Garneau Theatre, near the University of Alberta in Edmonton. It managed this location until June 2011, when its exterior was restored and the theatre was taken over by Metro Cinema Edmonton green glass bottle water, a local nonprofit.
In 2010, the company acquired the Carlton Cinemas theatre in downtown Toronto, a historic venue for independent and arthouse films which was closed by Cineplex Odeon in fall 2009. The theatre reopened as part of the Magic Lantern chain on June 30, 2010 with a two-day program of free films, including Crazy Heart, Chloe, A Single Man, Departures dry bag for camera, Julie and Julia, Away from Her and Fantastic Mr. Fox. This theatre is now operated by Imagine Cinemas.
In October 2013, the company acquired the Elgin Mills Cinemas theatre in Richmond Hill. The theatre was previously owned by Cineplex Odeon from its opening in 1995 to September 30, 2005 when it was bought by Empire Theatres. When Empire Theatres announced that it was selling all their theatres to Cineplex Entertainment and Landmark Cinemas, this theatre was not one of them, so the location closed on August 15, 2013 when its lease expired. The theatre reopened on November 20, 2013. In 2016, it was taken over by Imagine Cinemas.
In late 2016, Magic Lantern announced that another first run theatre would be built in the Brighton neighbourhood of Saskatoon.