The Odeon Humber returns

The Odeon Humber returns

  After a delayed start or two, it appears the former Odeon Humber is finally set to re-open today, courtesy of the same folks who revived the Kingsway a few years ago. The Humber, located at 2442 Bloor St. West at Jane, was twinned in 1975 and closed in 2003 while under the control of Cineplex Odeon. But over sixty years ago,  on January 27, 1949, the 1200 seat theatre  opened with a flourish. In…

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Allen’s Bloor Theatre

Allen’s Bloor Theatre

For over twenty-five years, Toronto concert-goers and Annex residents have known the building at 529 Bloor St. West as Lee’s Palace. But nearly a century ago, the Allen’s Bloor Theatre was one of the most luxurious suburban movie houses Toronto had to offer. The immaculately detailed 782 seat theatre held its premiere screening on March 10, 1919 with Cecil B. De Mille’s Don’t Change Your Wife, featuring Gloria Swanson. It was the first theatre to…

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The Parkdale Theatre: a passion den for teenagers

The Parkdale Theatre: a passion den for teenagers

“This may seem drastic to you but I have seen the results of the work of some of these hoodlums,” wrote Ontario Censor Board and Theatres Inspection Branch chairman O.J. Silverthorne in 1953 after offering Famous Players some well-heeled advice on dealing with teen-age rowdiness at Toronto’s Parkdale Theatre. Located at Queen St. W and Triller Ave., the Parkdale was one of several theatres designed by C. Howard Crane for the national Allen chain of…

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The Bloor Cinema: What’s in a name?

The Bloor Cinema: What’s in a name?

Of the numerous Toronto movie houses built before World War II which are still in operation, none have undergone as many name changes as the Bloor Cinema, the venerable Annex institution which opened as the Madison in 1913. Since then, Toronto’s biggest second-run cinema has also been known as the Midtown, Capri, Eden and since 1979, the Bloor. While photoplays, movies – whatever you want to call them – have flickered away at 506 Bloor…

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Tura Satana twirls at the Victory Burlesque, 1963

Tura Satana twirls at the Victory Burlesque, 1963

Tura Satana, star of Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! died on February 4 of apparent heart failure. Before she became the tough-girl phenom of cult film, however, she was a big star on the Burlesque circuit, often swinging her tassels on Toronto stages. One such occasion was on April 19, 1963, when she peeled off at the Victory Burlesque located on the north-east corner of Spadina and Dundas. On April 18, the day the…

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