Extreme Usher: The Imperial Six

Extreme Usher: The Imperial Six

by Gerry Flahive I was a teenage usher. I don’t think anyone is going to make a feature film, a la FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, based on my early 1970’s adventures at the somewhat-forgotten, and largely-underrated palace of guilty pleasures, Yonge Street’s Imperial Six. But if they did, it probably would be called USHERETTES GALORE, or EXTREME USHER, or even MATINEE IDLE. And it would be the kind of movie that probably would have…

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Elizabeth Taylor on the Loew’s marquee

With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor last month, here’s her name on the marquee of the Loew’s Yonge St. Theatre on October 3, 1952, opening day of the MGM Technicolor epic Ivanhoe, which also starred Robert Taylor and Joan Fontaine. When was the last time horses showed up to a Toronto film premiere? The Loew’s, located steps north of Queen on Yonge, opened on December 13, 1913 and was joined by the upstairs Winter Garden…

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Dinner and a movie at the Odeon Carlton

One of the few things missing in action when the Odeon Toronto (later Odeon Carlton) opened near Yonge and Carlton in September of 1948 was its much touted restaurant. Located on the mezzanine of the 2300 seat theatre, the Carlton Restaurant’s opening was delayed due to problems with existing theatre regulations. Bear in mind that in 1948, snack bars were not yet commonplace, so imagine the tizzy the Theatres Branch must have had when Odeon…

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