Cineplex Entertainment, a Canadian-based retailer and motion picture theatre exhibitor, has announced a new Download To Own (purchase) and Video on Demand (rent) service from the Cineplex Store that lets you download movies legally. Movies for purchase range in price from $5 to $25, with a typical new release costing $20. Most new release rentals are priced at $5 while older titles cost $3 or $4. Rented movies need to be watched within 30 days and once viewing has begun, it must be completed in 48 hours.

Purchased and rented content can be stored either on a customer's HDD or in a digital locker that stores movies safely and securely without using HDD space, while still allowing unlimited future downloads of purchased titles. New releases will be available for digital download, for playback on your PC and other compatible devices, on the same day they are released on DVD and Blu-ray (the Cineplex Store already offers DVD and Blu-ray products for purchase).

The Cineplex Store features thousands of titles available for purchase or rent from major motion picture studios, including Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. Cineplex promises to add hundreds of titles daily over the next several weeks. To celebrate the launch of the download service, the company is offering a buy-one-get-one-free promotion until December 31, 2010: purchase any regularly-priced movie and receive a second movie of equal or lesser value for free.

In 2011, Cineplex will add streaming High Definition content and UltraViolet, a digital rights locker and account management system. It will allow consumers to watch their digital entertainment across multiple platforms (connected TVs, PCs, game consoles, smartphones, and tablet PCs).

"When Canadians think of movies, we want them to think of Cineplex," Ellis Jacob, Cineplex's President and CEO, said in a statement. "The best way to experience a movie is still in-theatre but when guests want to enjoy the movie again, they can now choose from a variety of formats available from including digital downloads via our Download To Own or Video on Demand service, or on DVD or Blu-ray. By adding the digital download service to, especially with the features planned for 2011, in addition to our existing entertainment content and online ticketing, we believe we are creating one of the most powerful online entertainment experiences available to Canadians."