In Thursday’s Toronto Star, I looked at the history of the 52-year old Toronto Film Society, which continues to offer rarely-screened classics every month at Innis Town Hall. During my conversation with TFS president Barry Chapman, he shared memories of some of the Queen St. West cinemas of his youth, like the Parkdale, the Kum-C, and the Odeon.
Although the Odeon name is usually associated with the mighty British cinema chain which settled in Canada in 1948, two other Queen St. cinemas shared its name. At 1558 Queen St. W, a silent-era, 700-seat house opened around 1919. The building still exists, housing a neighbourhood grocer.
Slightly to the east, the above photo (circa 1976) shows the now-demolished Odeon cinema at 1473 Queen W. Designed by renown theatre architects Kaplan & Sprachman, the 750-seat theatre opened in 1931 and was later part of the 20th Century cinema chain. In the ’70s, after being up for sale through various realtors (for a measly $125 000!), it re-opened as the Regal.
Toronto Daily Star, July 17, 1931.Tags: allen parkdale theatre, barry chapman, frank borzage, gerald pratley, kum-c cinema, margaret sullavan, odeon cinema, old toronto cinemas, parkdale theatres, queen street history, regal cinema, shameless plugs, Toronto Cinemas, toronto film society, toronto star