Toronto cinema memories
One of our readers reminisces on the movie theatres of his youth:
“My childhood-adolescent theatres were all the downtown palaces, the Towne, University; nabes Victory on Spadina (pie eating contests Saturday matinees), Garden at College & Robert, Bellevue on College & Brunswick (Superman serials). When we moved north: the Vaughan, Radio City, Nortown, Eglinton, Christie, St.Clair, Paramount (small house on St. Clair near Dufferin)… plus others.
I was a very precocious kid and started taking streetcars every Saturday by myself or with my younger sister when I was about 6 or 7. Distinct memories of which pictures I saw at what venue: City Lights at the Towne Cinema around that time, Cinderella at the Odeon Toronto, Wizard of Oz (re-release) at the Uptown… Samson and Delilah at the Imperial…and many more including the stage shows at the Casino: Billy deWolfe from the Warner’s Doris Day flicks, Huntz Hull and Gabe Dell of the Bowery Boys… Johnnie Ray; Christine Jorgenson singing (soprano I presume), capitalizing on her sex change operation (!)”
Above image of the Nortown Cinema (875 Eglinton Ave. W, near Peveril Hill St.) courtesy of the Archives of Ontario (AO 37978-1). The cinema opened on March 17, 1948 and was demolished in 1974. In its place now stands this monstrosity.