The company started life in 1977 as Pan-Canadian Film Distributors. At the time of its establishment in the United States, the theatre chain and the tie-in studio were owned by the MCA entertainment group, also the then-owners of Universal Pictures.
The company changed its name to Odeon Films in the late 1990s on account of its historic significance, before releasing one of their final films—the science-fiction film Cube (released in American markets under Trimark Pictures' banner).
In early 1998, Cineplex Odeon itself was forced to scrap its distribution arm, provided Canadian law forbids foreign companies from owning domestic distributors. 75% of the remaining studio folded into Alliance Atlantis Communications; the rest was donated to a foundation representing Canada's film schools.
Notable films from Cineplex Odeon's early days include The Last Temptation of Christ, the Prince concert film Sign 'o' the Times, The Decline of the American Empire, Oliver Stone's Talk Radio and the animated sequel The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland.
As of , the company is still locally active in Canada under the Odeon Films banner.
There was also a home video division that started in 1986.