The Bloor Cinema returns

The Bloor Cinema returns

This week, the former Madison, Midtown, Capri, Eden and Bloor Cinema is revived anew as the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. I’m looking forward to checking out the renovation, as well as the flick — The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls — which may or may not be a remake of Getting Gertie’s Garter, which played the Midtown on May 25, 1946. (It’s not.) The structure at 506 Bloor St. West , which opened in December, 1913,…

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The Standard Theatre: Pasties & g-strings at the Victory Burlesque

The Standard Theatre: Pasties & g-strings at the Victory Burlesque

Faced with declining attendance, films took a backseat at the Victory Theatre in September of 1961 when it became the Victory Burlesque, featuring striptease artists, Catskills comedians and musical acts. Despite competition from neighbouring burlesque houses like the Casino and the Lux Theatre, the Victory’s opening weekend still packed them in. Headliner Little Star, “the blazing gal from outer space” – whose stage-name and tagline sounded not unlike that week’s Lux headliner, the iconic Blaze…

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The Standard: Yiddish theatre & dissenting voices

The Standard: Yiddish theatre & dissenting voices

It’s no secret that Toronto houses many old theatres, from the majestically restored Elgin & Winter Garden, the iconic, soon-to-reopen Bloor Cinema to countless others still flickering away. But many of them, long since closed, are dilapidated shells of their former selves. The former Standard Theatre, a three-storey structure housing a Royal Bank and a few Chinatown merchants on the north-east corner of Dundas and Spadina is one of the latter, but perhaps the most…

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Allen’s College Theatre

Allen’s College Theatre

  I had a great time covering Openfile Toronto‘s #citysigns project this week, including a look at Toronto’s remaining theatre marquees. The third and final story examines the curious history of the Matador Tavern’s neon sign dangling above 466 Dovercourt Rd. Mere steps from the tavern, which began its storied career as a dance hall during World War I and a bowling alley in the 1950s, was Detroit architect C. Howard Crane’s majestic College Theatre….

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A Victory Bond rally at the Midtown Theatre

A Victory Bond rally at the Midtown Theatre

  Cinemas were often a choice neighbourhood site for Victory Bond rallies during both World Wars. In the above photo, members of an unidentified regiment are lined up in front of the Midtown Theatre (now the Bloor Cinema), then owned by 20th Century Theatres. Although I haven’t been able to properly date the photo, it was taken some time after the all-star flick Stage Door Canteen ended its two-month run at the Loew’s Yonge St….

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