|Rui Pereira shortly before the reopening of the Humber Cinema (photo credit: Toronto Star)|
This incident has brought Rui Pereira and the Kingsway Theatre back into the mainstream spotlight, as outlets such as the CBC and Toronto Star have provided coverage on this incident. Rui Pereira has hit back against Wendy Olunike Adeliyi, claiming that it was she who has acting in a threatening manner and that she is generating a "false narrative" about this incident.
|The "final" Kingsway Theatre schedule from June 2006|
Ironically, all three cinemas that closed in 2006 would go on to reopen under new owners. The Royal was taken over by Theatre D Digital and the Revue was resurrected by the community-run Revue Film Society. The Kingsway was the final cinema to reopen in 2009, after being closed for more than three years.
|Rui Pereira in the Kingsway Theatre (photo credit: Inside Toronto)|
Now back to the incident from last Friday. I don't want to participate in the blame game that has been going on, but I am left scratching my head why the theatre even has a "no bags" policy in the first place. Presumably, this is in place so patrons don't sneak food or alcohol into the theatre, however there are now multiple licenced cinemas in Toronto and none of them ask you to check your bags at the door. On a personal note, I often carry a bag with me when I attend festival screenings and such, which would contain my notebook, writing utensils, and anything else I would need. It would be a huge inconvenience for me to check that bag before every festival screening I went to. This is specifically in reference to the fact that the Kingsway was a Hot Docs community venue a few years ago.
There is no real reason why I didn't go back to the Kingsway after it first reopened in 2009. In fact, part of the reason that I didn't go back was that it was somewhat out of the way for me to get to. Then the who fiasco happened involving the Humber Cinema and I haven't felt bothered to give a pompous jerk like Rui Pereira my time and money, when there are other perfectly good cinemas in the city, which respect the patrons (i.e. The Royal).
It's a real shame that I can't bring myself to ever attend the Kingsway again, since it is one of the few historic cinemas remaining in Toronto, with the theatre often having screenings that you can't see anywhere else. However, it seems that now the Kingsway Theatre is going to be remembered for being run by a tyrant of a manger, who isn't afraid to pick fights with anyone who crosses his path. It's a real shame, since the cinema is now only a short bus ride for me to get to.
On one final point, I should add that I am indeed aware that there is a Reddit thread, where the Kingsway staff member gives her side of the story. However, I am also aware that Rui Pereira has been making increasingly confrontational posts on the Kingway's facebook page, with one of the most recent ones demonstrating that he seems to be a supporter of Donald Trump's "fake news" narrative, while taking a swipe at the Oscar winning documentary The White Helmets.