The Fox Theatre in 1934

The Fox Theatre in 1934

  In this weekend’s Globe & Mail, I examined how the digital conversion currently underway in several Toronto cinemas is affecting film projectionists. The Fox Theatre in the Beaches recently converted to 2k digital cinema projection, but here it is in 1934 — simpler times — when it was known as the Prince Edward Theatre. On the bill that day was Wheeler & Whoolsey’s Cockeyed Cavaliers. The canopy shadowing Queen St., installed upon its opening…

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The world’s smartest dog at the Beach Theatre

The world’s smartest dog at the Beach Theatre

  We’ve written about several Allen theatres over the past three years, but often ignored is their majestic Beach Theatre, which opened on December 15, 1919, months after the premiere of their other east-end showplace, the Danforth. The Allen’s theatre chain extended nationwide, but in Toronto, they also owned the Allen, which later become the Tivoli, the College, St-Clair, Parkdale and the original Bloor Theatre, which now houses Lee’s Palace. Designed by Allen stalwart C. Howard Crane, the…

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Toronto’s oldest cinema survives as The Projection Booth

Toronto’s oldest cinema survives as The Projection Booth

Reporting for OpenFile Toronto back in April, I covered a meeting of east-end residents wanting to breathe new life into the Gerrard Cinema, which until recently had shown Tamil-language films. This weekend, Leslieville residents will get their wish as the former Bonita is re-christened The Projection Booth. Yesterday, TPB manager Jonathan Hlibka told OpenFile that an integration between the film industry and the film-going community will make this new theatre stand out among the city’s…

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The Ace Theatre

The Ace Theatre

  Al Jolson was no stranger to Toronto. From 1913 until a few years before his death in 1950, the King of Broadway called Toronto his second home, cavorting up and down his custom-made runway at the Royal Alexandra Theatre several times. While appearing in movies and on radio throughout the ’30s and ’40s, his stage appearances dwindled, but his fans could always see him on the big screen. The above photo of the Ace…

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Gloria Swanson lures movie-goers at Gerrard & Coxwell

Gloria Swanson lures movie-goers at Gerrard & Coxwell

  Shoveling through mountains of snow in mid-February, 1924, residents of  Gerrard and Coxwell are tempted by the gaze of starlet Gloria Swanson, appearing in  Toronto-born director Sydney Walcott’s film The Humming Bird at Shea’s Hippodrome on Monday, February 18. Although the Hippodrome was centrally located at the current site of Nathan Philips Square, its films were advertised at every end of the city. Many theatres  neighboured this stretch of Coxwell Ave. — the Family,…

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