American Express and CIFF Support Restoration of Calgary's Historic Plaza Theatre



    CALGARY, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - American Express(R) Canada in partnership with
the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is proud to announce its
support of the restoration of the historic Kensington Village Plaza Theatre.
Whenever American Express Cardmembers use their cards at participating
shopping and dining establishments in Calgary until October 31, 2007, American
Express will donate 10 per cent of the total purchase to the Plaza Theatre
restoration initiative, up to a maximum donation of $100,000. Additionally,
one dollar of every $3.50 Front Of The Line ticket service charge will be
donated to the project.
    "American Express is excited to offer Cardmembers the opportunity to play
a role in reviving this charming and architecturally significant theatre,"
said Paul Rogers, Director, Establishment Services, American Express Canada.
"We view this project as a great way to combine American Express' interests in
historic preservation and our sponsorship of CIFF, with our efforts to bring
added value to our Cardmembers and merchants in Calgary."
    The Plaza Theatre raised its curtains before World War II and is
Calgary's last independent cinema. Originally built in the 1920's as an
automobile garage, the building was soon converted to a neighbourhood theatre
in 1935. In its early days, the quaint theatre offered second run films and
children's matinees during the Depression. Later, in the late 1970's, the
Plaza Theatre became renowned as the city's first repertory theatre. Holding
true to its roots, it was not until 1995 that the Plaza Theatre became a first
run cinema. Preliminary watercolour sketches of the restored Plaza Theatre as
envisioned by local artist Jack Rigaux are also available for viewing.
    Until October 31, Calgary's best dining and shopping establishments in
the city's downtown core and Kensington Village are participating in the
project benefiting the Plaza Theatre. In addition to the donation, over 30 of
the 100 participating merchants are offering additional exclusive benefits to
Cardmembers, such as discounts on merchandise at retailers, three-course
"Chef's Selection" dinners and complimentary appetizers or desserts at
restaurants, and special opportunities such as an interior design consultation
with the purchase of furniture.
    "We're pleased that American Express, the presenting sponsor of this
year's Festival, shares our vision to revive the original charm of the Plaza
Theatre," said Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director, Calgary International
Film Festival. "By bringing back to life an important piece of Calgary's
cinematic past, we'll be able to continue growing Calgary's reputation as a
world-class destination for film and theatre arts."
    For a full list of participating merchants, and for more information,
visit: http://www.calgaryfilm.com/americanexpress

    About American Express

    American Express in Canada operates as Amex Canada Inc. and Amex Bank of
Canada. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American
Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of
the American Express Company. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Business Travel,
Travel Services Network and Travellers Cheques divisions in Canada. Amex Bank
of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. American Express
opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs more
than 3,700 Canadians coast-to-coast.
    Established in 1989, American Express' Front Of The Line program was
created to reward Cardmembers by offering preferential access to top-quality
seating for a wide range of artistic, cultural, theatrical and sporting
events. The service is offered to all American Express Cardmembers. Enrollees
in Amex's Membership Rewards program can use points to obtain tickets for most
events.

    About CIFF

    Founded in 1998, the Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is a
charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization based in Alberta, Canada.
CIFF exists to entertain and enlighten audiences through the experience of
film, showcasing the best-of-the-best in International cinema in a world class
forum. Building a legacy for the filmic art form for Calgarians and
cinema-goers around the globe is a primary focus of the festival. CIFF is held
annually at the end of September, screening over 250 films and hosting several
gala events, awards, and special presentations. For more information visit
www.calgaryfilm.com

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Grace Kim, Public Affairs & Communications,
American Express Canada, (905) 474-8792, grace.j.kim@aexp.com; Carolyn
Luhning, Publicist, Calgary International Film Festival, (403) 619-3936,
cluhning@calgaryfilm.com

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