The Eaton Centre Cineplex

The Eaton Centre Cineplex

by Jesse Hawken They knocked down the above-ground parking lot at the Eaton Centre a few years ago and with it, the late, not particularly lamented Cineplex theatre that was situated at the base of the parkade. The Eaton Centre Cineplex was the first mega-multiplex theatre in the world. There were 18 screens when it opened in 1979, expanding to 21 a few years later. When the place first opened it was more of an…

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The Downtown Theatre

The Downtown Theatre

  by Hal Kelly “Going to the movies is my hobby. I go to other theatres, but the Downtown is my favorite. I like westerns, especially ones with Audie Murphy, but ANY good action or adventure picture usually gives me my money’s worth.” – Irvine Exley, 55, war pensioner The Downtown Theatre was located one short block south of Dundas at the north east corner of the largely vacant Yonge and Dundas Square right across…

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The Ace Theatre

The Ace Theatre

  Al Jolson was no stranger to Toronto. From 1913 until a few years before his death in 1950, the King of Broadway called Toronto his second home, cavorting up and down his custom-made runway at the Royal Alexandra Theatre several times. While appearing in movies and on radio throughout the ’30s and ’40s, his stage appearances dwindled, but his fans could always see him on the big screen. The above photo of the Ace…

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A Victory Bond rally at the Midtown Theatre

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….

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Michael Gough, star of British horror films, dies at 94

Like many kids of my generation, my introduction to British actor Michael Gough was through his appearance as the butler Alfred in Tim Burton’s Batman, but the man also had a lengthy career starring in schlocky British horror films from the ’50s through the ’70s, many of which appeared on Toronto screens. My intention was to find an ad for Freddie Francis’ fantastic Trog, where Gough plays a scientist alongside Joan Crawford, but then I…

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