What could be more fitting to #TIFF14 than a collage of Toronto Independent Theatres - those special neighbourhood theatres that are so special to the heart of a community. Let's keep our independent theatres alive and kicking.
Crightonism: I'm not a HUGE movie fan but I like the facades of these classic movie houses and do prefer to watch films in theatres that are characters in their own right :)
The Facts: The Kingsway Theatre opened in 1939 . In 1954 the Twinex Century Theatre Company took it over. Under its new management the theatre continued until the company folded in 2006. In 2009 it reopened under new management. It is one of the only remaining single screen theatres in Toronto.
The Facts: The Revue Cinema located in Roncesvalles, was built between 1911-1912. It is the oldest Standing movie theatre in Toronto. In the 1980's The Revue cinema became a part of Festival Theatres, a chain of a repertory cinemas. In 2004 it was announced that most of the theatres in the chain were to be closed. In 2006, a grass roots movement organized to save the Theatre. In 2007 the theatre reopened. The movement founded the the non-profit organization the Revue Film Society, who now own and operate the theatre.
The Facts: The Royal Cinema, located in Little Italy was built in 1939. The threat of foreclosure in 2007 prompted "Theatre D digital" to take over the theatre. The theatre is now running as a indie art cinema. After heavy renovations the theatre can now accommodate live bands, digital, sound, and other forms of live entertainment. In the day time, the theatre operates as a TV and film post production studio.
The Facts: The Paradise Theatre opened in 1937 during the great depression. The original cost of the building was $110, 000 dollars which was a lot of money in those days. It was named Eve's Paradise for a brief period. In 2006 the theatre closed due to financial issues. The Paradise is a designated heritage building. There are plans in the works to reopen in 2015.
The Facts: Located in the Annex, the theatre originally opened in 1913 under the name Madison Picture Palace. For a large part of its history, it was a second-run theatre. Due to the changing movie industry, the theatre has gone through a closure and reopening in 1999, a closure in 2010, and then a final sale in 2011, to Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. It was at that period that it was renamed Bloor Hot docs Cinema. The cinema is a common location for TIFF for film premieres.
Pam's Memories: It's true that David isn't a big movie fan but the first and only movie he has ever taken me on was for my birthday last year. It was a Hot Doc on meditation. He took me because I am a meditator and he thought I'd like it AND I think he wanted to find out more about it. Right David?
The Facts: "The Music Hall' was originally built as a movie theatre in 1919 called "Allen's Danforth". The theatre was the main theatre in the Allen chain. In 1923 the chain was facing financial pressures, and the "Allen's Danforth" was acquired by Famous Players. It was renamed "The Century". In the 1960's the theatre was renamed the "Titania Theatre" and used as a Greek language cinema. In the 1980's it became part of the reparatory theatre chain. Once again, due to financial struggles, the theatre closed in 2004. In 2011 the theatre reopened under the ownership Impresario Inc, and now operates as a venue for live performances.
Pam's Memories: I saw Laurie Anderson here in 2006 for the 3rd time. The very first time I saw her was in a loft in Soho, NYC in the mid-70's. Then I saw her again at York University and I feel like I saw her another time somewhere else but can't pull it up! I also saw Jane Siberry there around the same time. My friends Gwen and Rick were having dine on the Danforth and just happened to see that Glen Hansard was playing and bought a ticket at the door. Lucky! But I did get to see him at the Tribute to Joni Mitchell in June 2013.
The Facts: Fox Theatre opened in 1914, at that time the theatre was named the past time. During the war the theatre was renamed Prince Edward in order to pay respect to Britain. In 1970, the name was changed to Fox, and has remained the name of the theatre till this day. In 2007 the theatre was reopened due to extensive renovation. It is the second oldest theatre in Toronto.