A Victory Bond rally at the Midtown Theatre


Cinemas were often a choice neighbourhood site for Victory Bond rallies during both World Wars. In the above photo, members of an unidentified regiment are lined up in front of the Midtown Theatre (now the Bloor Cinema), then owned by 20th Century Theatres.

Although I haven’t been able to properly date the photo, it was taken some time after the all-star flick Stage Door Canteen ended its two-month run at the Loew’s Yonge St. Theatre in September, 1943.

Big thanks goes to Christina Stewart of the CNE Archives for unearthing this photo, which is also one of the rare shots of this theatre to feature the now-demolished two-storey building immediately to the east.



  • Fantomex

    I can see a black soldier wearing glasses in the back….

  • Jim

    Great page! For my Vintage Cinema Ads page on Facebook, I’m trying (among other things) to identify older theaters still operating, to encourage others to visit them. So far, I’ve only found info on two Canadian theaters built before WW2 that are still operating (for movies), and wonder if there are any others.
    In 1945, Film Daily identified just under 1300 operating theaters in Canada, most of them structured, rather than portable. At the same time, the US had between 19,000 to 20,000. The rate of theater survival here in the US of those cinemas since then has been of course low, yet there are dozens of pre-WW2 movie theaters still operating here and showing movies–many of them in small towns–and a further, separate number of surviving theaters exist now primarily for live performances.
    So far, for Canada, I have identified one older continuing movie theater of pre-WW2 vintage in BC and one in ON and am hoping to learn if there are any more.
    Haven’t been to Canada in several years but have many relatives in the Belleville ON area (I’m in Michigan) and really should return! If you can help with any other guide to vintage Canadian cinemas, I appreciate it.

  • Hi Jim, thanks for writing. The majority of Toronto’s surviving theatres are from pre-WWI: The Revue (1912), the Fox (1914), the Big Picture Cinema (1910), the Elgin/Winter Garden (1913-1914) and the Bloor Hot Docs (which isn’t technically accurate… it was built in 1913 as the Madison then rebuilt in ’41 as the Midtown). Hope that helps.


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