For assistance with identifying Cinram plants and dates please see "Plant Identifers" section below.
Originally founded July 28, 1969 by Isidore Philsophe and Samuel Sokoloff as a manufacturer of eight-track cartridges in Montréal under the name Cinram Ltd./Cinram Ltée. In the early 1970s it expanded into cassettes and by the mid-1970s the Montréal plant was Canada's largest manufacturer of tapes. The Montréal plant also added 6 vinyl presses by the 1980s.
Cinram opened a vinyl pressing and tape duplication plant in Scarborough, Ontario in 1979 and moved its head office to the location. The plant was outfitted with a new computerised Neuman lathe for lacquer cutting that was originally meant to upgrade equipment at RCA Studios, Toronto but RCA sold off the studio instead and the lathe went to CInram. In November 1985 Cinram purchased the entire record pressing operation of Quality Records Limited and moved all of the equipment to the Scarborough plant. Vinyl pressing ceased circa 1991.
Cinram's first CD pressing plant commenced operations March 27, 1987 in Markham, Ontario. At the time they were the only Canadian CD plant to manufacture their own jewel cases as well as pre-master and glass master in-house. In 1988 Cinram bought out its competitor Praxis Technologies Inc., the first CD Canadian manufacturer.
In 1989 Cinram established Nobler Technologies, Inc. in Boston, Mass, to design and build CD manufacturing equipment that was used by CInram and other manufacturers. The company holds multiple patents for CD manufacturing processes. Nobler started shipping CD manufacturing equipment to China in 1993.
Cinram expanded into the US in 1990 with the purchase of PRC Recording Company, Richmond, IN (which became Cinram, Richmond, IN). CD production at this plant began approximately mid/late 1992, and LaserDisc production in 1993.
In 1994, Cinram entered a joint venture with Auriga-Aurex S.A. de C.V. of Mexico to build a CD plant in Mexico City (Cinram, Mexico).
On December 8, 1996, Quixote Corporation entered into the negotiation process of selling Disc Manufacturing, Inc., Huntsville (including manufacturing plants in Anaheim, CA and Huntsville, AL) to Cinram Ltd. The purchase by Cinram was completed March 27th 1997. The Anaheim plant was later closed in 2001. The Huntsville plant remained open until at least 2012, at which time it was involved solely in DVD manufacturing.
In July 1997, Cinram International Inc. reached an agreement to acquire PolyGram's cassette and VHS manufacturing facility in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. This followed the acquisition earlier that year of Mayking Multi-Media's video duplication facility Videoprint in Ipswich, UK.
A French CD manufacturing plant in Louviers was purchased from Universal M & L, France in 2000 and became Cinram Optical Discs.
In 2003, Cinram purchased the European manufacturer and distributor Warner Music Manufacturing Europe, located in Alsdorf (Germany), which was then renamed Cinram GmbH. The same year, it also acquired WEA Manufacturing Inc., the American disc-manufacturing facilities formerly owned by Time Warner.
In 2014 Cinram moved its Canadian production operations out of Toronto and shifted them to facilities in Olyphant, PA and Huntsville, AL. Finance, marketing, and distribution operations however remained in Toronto. In the same year, Cinram purchased a CD/DVD manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa, AL, and a fulfillment centre in Kennesaw, GA from JVC Kenwood Corporation. It was announced in January 2015 that CInram was to close the Tuscaloosa plant.
Cinram's disc manufacturing assets were finally sold to Technicolor in 2015.
Cassettes manufactured by CInram can be identified by a CI or CR on the shell, usually below the catalogue number..
Records pressed at the Scarborough plant from 1979 onwards can be identified by a CR etched in runouts, a CR stamped in a circle in the runouts, or a CR or CI printed on the labels.
The date of the CD glass master can be determined from the Cinram matrix number.
Normally, it is given in the form of #YYMMDD (Year, Month, Day):
Chalk Circle - Mending Wall
#870610B DSRD-31035 MFG BY CINRAM
Glass master date: June 10, 1987
Some time during 1989-1990, a P was temporarily used to replace the leading digit - #PYMMDD:
Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw & The Cooked
#P90626JJ IRSXD-6273 MFG BY CINRAM
Glass master date: June 26, 1989
U2 - Boy
#P00111A CIDM-110 MFG BY CINRAM
Glass master date: January 11, 1990
Between 2000-2009, this was changed to #YMMDD:
Dido - No Angel
[Cinram logo] L387 07822190252 #00826Y28 38 25
Glass master date: August 26, 2000
From 2010 onwards, it was reverted back to #YYMMDD:
Spoons - Talkback
[Cinram logo] LT40 621848003925 #100104V03 11
Glass master date: January 04, 2010
These dates may be used to determine if the release is an original release or a repress, but does not inform the release date itself as glass masters are frequently used some time after it was originally manufactured.
Please note that these numbers should not be added to the LCCN field, they are just dates and not sequential numbers.