Letters to the Manager

A great little ditty uncovered by Colin Geddes while leafing through my copy of Famous Players Canada’s What’s New? employee newsletter from July, 1973. Sure, you can still expect to be treated this way by your fellow movie-goer, but gosh, those ushers knew a thing or two about customer service! And as evidenced by the photo to the right, they either used a really tough starch, or those jackets were full on bulletproof: Dear Sir, My…

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The Carlton

Whether old, new, palatial, grimy, spacious or downright claustrophobic, the closure of any Toronto cinema means one less place to see a film, and today’s closing of the Carlton Cinema is no exception. It’s not the first time a theatre has closed in that location, either. In 1974, the Odeon Carlton, a lavish post-war movie house, ended a 26-year run after screening Burt Reynolds in White Lighting. While discussing the Carlton’s demise with Colin Geddes…

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Lee’s Palace Shows its True Colours

by Eric Veillette Yesterday, Torontoist reported that the colourful amoeba and monster-laden mural which has adorned the facade of Lee’s Palace for over twenty years was taken down, to be replaced with a new creation by original artist Runt. Annex residents may feel it looks temporarily naked without it, but it gives us a better view of the building, which once housed a movie theatre. Designed by architect C. Howard Crane in 1919, it opened…

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Lecture on Toronto Theatres at the Revue Cinema

Above image from January 1929 shows Yonge St. facing north from Queen St. On the bill at the Loews Yonge St. is a Buster Keaton film, probably Steamboat Bill. Source: Toronto Transit Commission. Ten-cent admission, newsreels, adventure serials and slapstick. That’s what you would find if you could return to the early days of movie-going. As this site, dedicated to preserving the stories of our varied theatres, nears its first anniversary, I am partnering with…

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Oh to be Shocked and Awed on Yonge Street

In today’s Toronto Star, your humble editor writes about the dearly departed, sleazy dens of cinematic iniquity which lined Yonge St in the 1970s. The strip from Gerrard to Queen marked the city’s Red Light District. Amidst the drugs, strip clubs like Starvin Marvin’s and over 75 body-rub parlours were the bright lights of the Biltmore, Downtown, Cinema 2000, Coronet, Rio, Imperial Six, Yonge/Elgin, among many others. Compared to the seediness of the era, which…

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