Loew’s Yonge St. Theatre signage

This week, I’m looking at vintage and iconic signs for OpenFile Toronto. Discussed are the neon spinning records at the former Sam the Record Man (including comments from its designer, Sam Markle), the Vesta Lunch, the former Suspect Video on Queen St. West, as well as the radioactive palm tree that is the El Mocambo at Spadina and College. But there are plenty more. Toronto’s cinemas — whether still active, downtrodden or re-purposed — also…

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Dracula Triple-Bill at the Elgin!

I present a fang-tastic ad for a Hammer Dracula triple-bill. Back before you could see Cats or some other Broadway schmaltz at the Elgin, some lucky film-goers spent an afternoon in September of 1978 watching Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave and Dracula A.D. 1972. If Hammer wasn’t your thing (really?), there were plenty of other sights and sounds to take in that weekend:  Nazi zombie flick Shock Waves opened…

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The Yonge Street Strip

The Yonge Street Strip

  In the late 1970s, you could venture down a five block strip of Toronto’s Yonge St. — from Gerrard to Queen — and find several cinemas offering the kind of trashy celluloid fare you could only dream of seeing in a theatre nowadays. Today, the city’s flagship street and main tourist destination is oddly devoid of street-front cinemas. On Dundas, across the street from the former Downtown Theatre is this massive crypt of a…

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