The Uptown Theatre

The Uptown Theatre

To cinephiles, the theatres we patronize are often just as important as the films they show. It might only be a building, but once an audience is at attention and the image is flickering, the place takes on an organic quality. Whether it’s a run-down rep house, a bicycle repair shop moonlighting as a cinema or the second floor of a restored hotel, these darkened spaces allow us to forget the outside world, and as…

Read More

Mothra Attacks Toronto!

Well, not really. But since Lightbox screened Gojira alongside Mars Attacks last night, I thought I’d dig into the archive and share this June 1, 1962 Toronto Star advertisement for Mothra, the atomic fire-breather’s fellow kaiju. The “most monstrous beast ever created” — which could be referring to Rod Steiger —  played the Downtown Theatre and other screens. Horror and monster fans had plenty to work with that week: the New Toronto Biltmore was showing…

Read More

The Walking Dead at the Allenby Cinema

The Walking Dead at the Allenby Cinema

With Halloween but a day away, here’s a photo of the Allenby Theatre’s lobby in 1936, showing Boris Karloff in The Walking Dead, with Gorilla Man, Snooper Service and Night Watchman as b-pictures. The gimmick on the poster (“Blow on this spot — If it turns GREEN, you are too weak to…”) is typical of that era, and was probably tongue-in-cheekly enforced by a tuxedo-wearing cinema manager. By the time The Walking Dead reached the…

Read More

King of Kings at Smash

King of Kings at Smash

Smash, an architectural salvage and curiosities shop in the Junction on Dundas St. W, recently unearthed the containers which once housed several prints of Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings (which I haven’t seen since I was a kid, but holy mackerel — Rip Torn played Judas?). Who knows what happened to the film, but they also have some flashy but heavy 70mm reels — not exactly the easiest thing to find nowadays —  which could…

Read More

Dracula Triple-Bill at the Elgin!

I present a fang-tastic ad for a Hammer Dracula triple-bill. Back before you could see Cats or some other Broadway schmaltz at the Elgin, some lucky film-goers spent an afternoon in September of 1978 watching Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave and Dracula A.D. 1972. If Hammer wasn’t your thing (really?), there were plenty of other sights and sounds to take in that weekend:  Nazi zombie flick Shock Waves opened…

Read More
1 2