Extreme Usher: The Imperial Six

Extreme Usher: The Imperial Six

by Gerry Flahive I was a teenage usher. I don’t think anyone is going to make a feature film, a la FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, based on my early 1970’s adventures at the somewhat-forgotten, and largely-underrated palace of guilty pleasures, Yonge Street’s Imperial Six. But if they did, it probably would be called USHERETTES GALORE, or EXTREME USHER, or even MATINEE IDLE. And it would be the kind of movie that probably would have…

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Oh to be Shocked and Awed on Yonge Street

In today’s Toronto Star, your humble editor writes about the dearly departed, sleazy dens of cinematic iniquity which lined Yonge St in the 1970s. The strip from Gerrard to Queen marked the city’s Red Light District. Amidst the drugs, strip clubs like Starvin Marvin’s and over 75 body-rub parlours were the bright lights of the Biltmore, Downtown, Cinema 2000, Coronet, Rio, Imperial Six, Yonge/Elgin, among many others. Compared to the seediness of the era, which…

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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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