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Monday, March 05, 2012

Sean Kelly

MORE Movie Theatres of My Life

My last post, in which I reminisced on the many different Toronto-area cinemas I frequented, was quite well-received so I decided that I would write a follow-up post, listing more of the theatres that I have been to.

Like I've said in the last post, I've probably been to most Toronto cinemas at least once (though there's still some I've yet to visit).  With a few exceptions, the bulk of today's list will be made up of the cinemas that I've only visited a handful of times.  In one of those cases, I'm glad I saw a film in the cinema before it was too late (which will be the first on the list).


Famous Players Uptown
Location: Bloor and Yonge
Attended: 2003
Closed Down: 2003

One of my favourite downtown activities, which I've done since I was a teenager, is to walk along the Yonge Street strip from Bloor to Dundas.  On these walks I would always see the Uptown cinema, though at the time I wasn't mature enough a cinesphile to actually see a film in the theatre.  I saw a film at the Uptown for the first, and only, time at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival (which was also my first ever TIFF screening).
Nice Memento
















Famous Players Coliseum
Location: Rathburn Rd. and Duke of York (right by Square One shopping centre)
Attended: 1998

By my memory, the Coliseum was the first of many high-profile multiplexes to open in the GTA in the mid-late 1990s.  Since I don't often head into Mississauga, I've only been the Coliseum once - to see Mighty Joe Young in 1998.  It's most interesting feature was the concession stand, which had giant pieces of popcorn popping behind it.














Silvercity Yorkdale
Location: Yorkdale Shopping Centre
First Attended: 1999

I remember my 17 year old self being in awe at this theatre when I first went to it to see Galaxy Quest.  I would not go to it again until it became a convenient theatre for me to go to from York University in the mid-2000s.  I was less impressed on subsequent visits.





















Galaxy Owen Sound
Location: Grey County Mall, Owen Sound
First Attended: 2003

OK, so this isn't exactly a "Toronto-area" cinema.  My family's cottage is located in Sauble Beach, with Owen Sound being the closest major town (though in "closest," I mean a 45 minute drive).  There have been a handful of occasions I went to see a film at the Galaxy Cinema in Owen Sound, the first being for Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.  I haven't been there recently though.















Cineplex Carlton
Location: Carlton and Yonge
Attended: 2004
Closed: 2009 (reopened as a Magic Lantern cinema in 2010)

I went to the Carlton out of necessity, since it was one of the only cinemas in the city still playing Napoleon Dynamite (which my brother really wanted to see).  I was a little less than impressed with the very small screen and I have yet to return to the cinema (even after Cineplex closed it and it subsequently reopened under the "Magic Lantern" label).



















Rainbow Market Square
Location: Front and Jarvis
First Attended: 2004

I went to the Market Square cinema two times (the first for Fahrenheit 9/11 and the other for Bad News Bears), both being spur of the moment.  Like the Carlton, I was not too impressed with the small screens, which makes it feel like you are watching the film on a TV.  As such, I'm in no hurry to return.















Kingsway Theatre
Location: Bloor and Royal York
First Attended: 2004
Closed: 2006 (reopened independently in 2009)

The Kingsway was a second run/repertory cinema in the west end of Toronto.  I first went to the cinema in 2004 to see Jersey Girl and I made a pledge to see more films at this cinema.  I think I saw only one more film at the Kingsway (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) when it was announced that the Festival Cinemas chain that operated the cinema was closing down.  I went to see a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark on the theatre's final day of operations.  The Kingsway was reopened in 2009 by entrepreneur Rui Pereira (who also reopened the Humber cinema) and the Kingsway's programming currently consists of second-run and independent films (though I have yet to return to the theatre).



















Royal Cinema
Location: College and Bathurst
First Attended: 2007

The Royal is a bit of an out of the way cinema for me and I have only been to the cinema on two occasions - both for York University's CineSiege student film showcase.  I hope to see a proper film there eventually.


















Silvercity Yonge and Eglinton
Location: Yonge and Eglinton
First Attended: 2009

I first went this theatre in 2009 to see I Love You, Man.  Lately, I've been going to this theatre somewhat more frequently, since it's at a convenient location for one of my friends, who I regularly see movies with.
















Bloor Cinema
Location: Bloor and Bathurst
First Attended: 2009

If there is one theatre I wish I went to more, it would be this one.  Even though I pretty much knew about the theatre since childhood (I have both my family doctor and a great-aunt in the area), I didn't actually see a film at the theatre until I went to see Trick 'r Treat there as part of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in 2009.  I would later see a few additional films at the Bloor, including the documentary The Cove, a couple catch-up films for the 2010 Oscars (The Hurt Locker and An Education), and another Toronto After Dark screening (The Last Exorcism).  After a long renovation period, the Bloor is set to reopen next week as the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema and I hope to make up for lost time.


















TIFF Bell Lightbox
Location: King and John
First Attended: 2010

While some may criticize it's corporate look, since it opened at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, the Bell Lightbox has been one of the best places in the city to see films both old and new.  I essentially live at the place and will probably continue to see films there for years to come.





















Famous Players Canada Square
Location: Yonge and Eglinton
First Attended: 2011

This very classic-looking theatre is hidden away next door to the more mainstream Silvercity cinema.  I went here to see In a Better World after it won Best Foreign Language film at the 2011 Oscars.  It's a nice little cinema.


















Toronto Underground Cinema
Location: Queen and Spadina
First Attended: 2011

At an inconspicuous Spadina location, about a block north of Queen, a former kung-fu theatre was transformed into probably the best cult cinema in the city.  After many missed opportunities to head to the Underground during it's first year, I finally attended a free first anniversary screening of Clue last summer (an experience I wrote about).  Ever since then, I tried to squeeze in a screening at the Underground whenever I can, which included a number of Rue Morgue CineMacabre screenings, three films at Toronto After Dark, and free holiday screening of It's a Wonderful Life.  I look forward to seeing many more films at the theatre.

And that's pretty much wraps up the remainder of the Toronto-area cinemas I've been to.  I'm in the rough planning stages of a second follow-up post, in which I will talk about cinemas I have encountered internationally.  It will definitely be an interesting piece.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).