TIFF: Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star

In today’s Toronto Star, I preview TIFF’s latest exhibit, Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star, based on the collection of Rob Brooks. Over the course of three decades, Brooks, a Toronto native, amassed thousands of items including lobby cards, posters, correspondence and several personal items once owned by Toronto’s own Mary Pickford.

In the article, I mention Pickford’s long-held ties to Toronto. In an early 1920s visit, Pickford was so enamoured by the patients and staff at the Christie St. Military Hospital that they received private screenings of all her forthcoming films. When Sparrows was released in November, 1926, it played to the patients and staff of the hospital before opening at the Uptown Theatre the following Monday.

Located in the Canadian Film Gallery at Bell Lightbox, the exhibit opens today and runs until July 3. Admission is free.

Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1924) played the Grand Opera House in late 1924. Print ad courtesy of Rob Brooks.

Leave a Comment