Showing 351 - 375 of 393 comments found
I think life is too short…to short for all this bickering and mean spirited comments by “LTS”. Maybe he should stop commenting altogether on this particular theater site and give the rest of us…a break.
What about the Garrick, Metropolitan and Capitol? Are they still standing. Can’t believe that Cineplex Odeon only has Grant Park, I guess that will change now that they are taking over Famous Players.
Speaking of theatres in Winnipeg, what ever happened to the Odeon Kings and the Colony? I rembember them when I visited years ago and the Kings seemed to be a major release venue. Didn’t “The Sound of Music” play there for a long time?
All 4 new Paramount theatres in Canada, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver will have to be renamed after Cineplex Odeon takes over. The Paramount name is a trademark of Viacom and won’t allow the names to be used. I wonder what they will call them now?
I too would love to see pictures of this theatre. They don’t even have one on their web site. The only one I have found is under Google Images and type in Prytania. It’s not a very good picture though.
Very interesting Chad about the Cinema 180. Sounds like it was quite an adventure. By the way, I replied to your question about Sherway cinemas.
Thanks Mike about Guzzo, love your website by the way.
Yes Mike, I saw that in the Toronto papers as well about Cine-Enterprise. They also mentioned Empire Theatres of Atlantic Canada as well as Landmark and Red Lantern from the west and Alliance Atlantis Cinemas as well. It will be interesting to see if one chain buys all 35 or several chains buy in their particular region. What about Guzzo cinemas of Montreal.
I agree with John J.Fink. Here in Toronto there are 5 AMC megaplexes and they are clean, nice design and relatively quiet when compared with the Famous Players lobbies which are loud, garish and overdone. Incidentally here in Canada, Cineplex Odeon purchased Famous Players a couple of weeks ago so this will completely shake up the movie chains here in Canada. AMC was in the running for taking over FP so maybe they will buy some of the 35 theatres that CO has to sell as per the Federal Competition Bureau for the deal to go through. I would welcome more AMC here in Canada.
This was one of Toronto’s premier Roadshow/Reserved seat houses in the 50’s and 60’s. Among the big films that played here were
King of Kings
Mutiny on the Bounty
Fall of the Roman Empire
My Fair Lady
Agony and the Ecstasy
Thouroughly Modern Millie
Paint Your Wagon
After roadshows went out of style, the University continued to present big releases in 70MM right up to it’s closing in 1986. A great loss to the movie going public of Toronto.
Congratulations on this magnificent site. I check it several times a day and always look forward to new additions or updates on current theatres listed. I have contributed both new theatres and comments on several others and also would like to contribute photos someday. I have taken several photos of many theatres across Canada and would love to post them. Anyway keep up the Great work!!
It worked for Famous Players because they recently extended their $9.95 or less for all theatres all times here in the Toronto area. They used to charge $13.95 (CDN) for all theatres except a few that were already lower prices. I think they should have lowered it to $9.00 as some theatre chains in Quebec have. Cineplex Odeon still charges $13.95 for a few of their biggest multiplexes here.
gmiller…I don’t know if you had been to the movies often in the past few years before Dec 30 but in Toronto and across the country, most theatre companies have had advertising before the film starts for years. I’m not particularly fond of it either but if I want to see a movie on a BIG screen, I put up with it. As for the prices, Famous Players has just extended it’s policy of $9.95 or less for all theatres in the GTA that it started a few months ago. I personally could do without the commercials and just watch the coming attractions. I believe I read that the major chains are going to list the actual start time of the movie after advertising which I think stems from all of the complaints. By the way I haven’t had any bad experiences at the Paramount and think it’s a great place to watch movies.
“Cleopatra” did pretty well here in Toronto, it ran at the magnificent University theatre for almost a year, from June 26 1963 until the end of March 1964. Ironically when it came out at “Regular Prices” a few months later it played at the Tivoli (as well as the Captiol, Birchcliff, Westwood) which up until then was one of Toronto’s exclusive Roadshow houses. For years it was advertised as the Home of Todd-AO. The Tivoli had a sad end and was closed in ‘65 and demolished. I was only in the Tivoli twice, to see a re-issue of “The Robe” in '63 and a re-issue of “Can-Can” in '64. I loved it and it still holds a fascination with me today. Must have been wonderful to see all of the big roadshows there in the 50s and early 60s.
You’re so right CC it was such a different time back then. No computers, no VCRs, no DVDs so if you wanted to see these big budget roadshow movies you went to where they were. After the second run theatres you couldn’t see them again until they showed up on network television cut up by commercials. I couldn’t believe how some of these classics had scenes cut out to fit into a 3 hour TV time slot including commericals. That I guess is why it was such a big deal back then to make sure you saw the film during it’s roadshow run or at least it’s first release at regular prices. Then you knew you were seeing the whole film, the way it was meant to be shown. It seemed then that audiences paid more attention to what was on the screen and they knew they could get popcorn etc at intermission. Now I think that people forget that they aren’t at home at that’s part of the problem. It was such a different time back then.
You’re right mjc, the Odeon Carlton was one of the Best movie theatres in all of Canada. James Bond movies after “From Russia with Love” opened here and it was a big event. The last James Bond movie at the Carlton was (i think) “Live and Let Die”. It was a sad, sad day indeed when they demolished this showplace. I took several pictures just before it closed. Too bad they didn’t turn it into a performing arts centre but it had no backstage area. It was always one of my very favourite theatres.
Those two helped kill off the movie musical. In Toronto “Norway” played roadshow at the Glendale but “Horizon” was a non roadshow engagement at the Odeon Carlton. It played regular continuous performances and didn’t last long. I think after these the next successful musical was “Cabaret” which ran at the Glendale for about 9 months or so.
CConnolly was right though when you said that the studio put out too many of these kinds of films, that helped kill off the roadshow format. After the success of “SOM” every studio tried to duplicate it’s success by finding some musical to produce. Some like “Paint Your Wagon” and “Finian’s Rainbow” were from Broadway shows in the 40s. It’s like everything else, something is a huge success and then everyone tries to copy it. Roadshows weren’t the only movies realeased that way. All movies usually played in one or two theatres downtown, ran for a few or several weeks and then eventually made it’s way to the neighbourhoods or suburban theatres. That’s the way it was. I think it was “Jaws” that changed the way movies were released forever. Opening weekends were not as important then, if a movie had legs, then it could play in some downtown theatres for weeks or months just like the roadshows. The only difference was there were no reserved seats and were at cheaper prices.
I think it was a combination of both. Remember in those days, “The Sound of Music” was the most popular movie in the world. In several other major cities in Canada in ran for months or years, when others hadn’t. “My Fair Lady” ran 60 weeks at the University and then moved over to the Nortown. Many of these “roadshows” were film versions of popular Broadway musicals or spectacular epics like “Ben Hur” or “Cleopatra”. They were promoted weeks before they opened on these special Reserved seat/roadshow engagements and since in those days were only at one theatre in the area were very popular. In the late 60s there were so many roadshows around that other theatres that never had that policy before suddenly found themselves showing reserved seat movies. I remember in Toronto, the Capitol had “The Sandpebbles” and later “The Lion in Winter”, the Vaughn had “The Bible” which was it’s only roadshow film and even the Odeon Danforth had the move over of “Oliver!” and then “The Taming of the Shrew”. These films always had big ads in the papers “announcing” the premiere and when tickets would go on sale. I think one of the last of these was “The Man of La Mancha” at the University in ‘72 which didn’t last very long. I miss that kind of distribution when these big movies would run for months and then come back at “Popular Prices” weeks or months later at all of the neighbourhood theatres around the city. Those were the good old days.
Seeing that photo of “The Sound of Music” playing brought back wonderful memories for me of when it played at the beautiful Eglinton theatre here in Toronto. It played there for 144 weeks from March 10 ‘65 until Dec 20 '67 when it was replaced by “Doctor Dolittle”. It then moved to the Crest (now Regent) and played another 9 weeks there although not with reserved seats. I used to love when roadshows would play at the University, Eglinton, Odeon Fairlawn and they would used those glass marquees with the film’s stylized writing on since they usually ran for months. The old Tivoli downtown which had several major reserved seat roadshows in the late 50’s, early 60’s would also use those specialized marquees. Toronto had many long runs in those days. “Funny Girl” played 68 weeks at the Odeon Fairlawn and “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” ran 50. The Tivoli had long runs of “Oklahoma”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, “South Pacific” and “The King and I”, all of them running 52 weeks or more. “Ben Hur” ran 77 weeks at the University and “2001: A Space Odyssey” ran about 130 some odd weeks at the Glendale Cinerama. I miss those days. Those really were “events”.
Too bad that Famous Players chose to close this. With the Uptown gone it would be nice if Famous had something in the Yonge/Bloor area where they used to dominate the scene. Who knows how long it will take to build their proposed 10 screen complex at the opposite corner to this one. Why didn’t they build something before they closed the Uptown. Now there is a big gap between the Paramount downtown and the Canada Square/Silvercity 9 way up at Yonge and Eglinton. Now at the “crossroads” of Toronto there is just the Cineplex Odeon Varsity 12 and the Alliance Atlantis Cumberland 4. What a difference from several years ago when there were more theatres in this area than any other part of Toronto.
The Odeon Danforth was one of the 5 original Odeons built in Toronto in 1947/48. It was in the east end of Toronto and often showed the same films as the Humber in the west and the Fairlawn in the north. During the late 60s it became a roadshow/reserved seat theatre showing “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Oliver!” (in a move over from the Odeon Carlton". Unlike the Hyland, Humber and Fairlawn it was never twinned and Odeon closed it in the 70s. Since it is in Greektown it was know for awhile as the Rex Danforth showing Greek movies. A few years ago during the annual Taste of the Danforth, the fitness centre was having an open house so I went in to see if it looked like the theatre I remember and it did. The big staircase up to the balcony is still there and the main floor auditorium looks just like it did except with gym equipment. It would be a nice place to work out and remember all the movies that played there.
This was a very important theatre when Odeon and later Cineplex Odeon had it. During the 50s it showed many British films and then in the 60s premiered many Hollywood hits which ran for months. When Cineplex took over Canadian Odeon it still used the Hyland to showcase some of the top releases of their day including E.T., Tootsie, Backdraft, For the Boys and many, many others. It was always a pleasure seeing films here because it was very comfortable and had the best in sight and sound in both upstairs and downstairs cinemas. It was twinned in 1972 and with the Hollywood two doors to the north these four screens always had big releases. It’s too bad that theatre habits changed because with the Hyland and Hollywood at Yonge and St Clair it was always a great entertainment destination.
Actually the original Capitol was demolished to make way for this new Capitol 6 in the mid seventies. I went to Vancouver in ‘74 and saw “The Parallax View” at the old Capitol and then went again in '77 and saw “Walking Tall” at the new theatre. Very impressive and the largest theatre holds over 1000 seats. I thought the architecture was great and the fact that the largest Capitol 1 was on the first level with Capitol 2 & 3 on the next level up and then the Capitol 4,5,6 up on the highest level. I took several pictures of the front and the back of the theatre. Too bad it will be demolished. That will only leave the Cineplex Odeon Granville 7 as the only movie theatre left on what was once “theatre row”. Too bad.
Hi Pete, see the listing for the Rialto in Allentown, I’ve written about my memories of attending the movies at various theatres around the city. Also look under the News section about the demolition of the Colonial, there are several comments there. As I’ve said in those other postings, I have several fond memories of visiting my aunt and uncle who lived on Walnut St. and attending many theatres there. It’s too bad that there are none of the theatres that you mentioned above left. Not even the Lehigh Valley multiplex where you would think would be a perfect place for a new one. And none downtown. I guess the downtown is not like it used to be.