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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Allen’s Bloor Theatre

Allen’s Bloor Theatre

For over twenty-five years, Toronto concert-goers and Annex residents have known the building at 529 Bloor St. West as Lee’s Palace. But nearly a century ago, the Allen’s Bloor Theatre was one of the most luxurious suburban movie houses Toronto had to offer. The immaculately detailed 782 seat theatre held its premiere screening on March 10, 1919 with Cecil B. De Mille’s Don’t Change Your Wife, featuring Gloria Swanson. It was the first theatre to…

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The Bloor Cinema: What’s in a name?

The Bloor Cinema: What’s in a name?

Of the numerous Toronto movie houses built before World War II which are still in operation, none have undergone as many name changes as the Bloor Cinema, the venerable Annex institution which opened as the Madison in 1913. Since then, Toronto’s biggest second-run cinema has also been known as the Midtown, Capri, Eden and since 1979, the Bloor. While photoplays, movies – whatever you want to call them – have flickered away at 506 Bloor…

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The Evolution of Cool

The Evolution of Cool

Early cinemas were used to convince the populace that air conditioning was cool. by Alfred Holden I watched poetic justice unfold in a cool way last month, when the brief May heat wave hit. The clamour for air conditioning erupted that very day in my own home, and spread like a storm through the St. George Street building where I live. But by the time the engineers turned on the central air, the weather, too,…

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