Showing 376 - 393 of 393 comments found
A sad day indeed. And shameful. I guess Allentown has turned into a backwater, hicktown after all. I have such fond memories of the city in the 60s and 70s when it was a home away from home for me when I visited my beloved aunt and uncle who lived on Walnut st. I loved Allentown in those days, so many things to do and see. The last time I was there was in ‘92 and the downtown was a sorry sight to see. Too bad the city fathers didn’t have the vision of turning the Colonial in to some sort of performing arts centre that so many other cities have done. Then they would have had something special but I guess that isn’t what they want to do with their downtown. Like I said a sad, sad day. The picture of the destruction are awful.
Sorry Doug, but this was the last Cinerama theatre in Toronto. The first was the University on Bloor St and from there it moved to the Eglinton where “Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” and “How the West Was Won” played. Then at Christmas 1963, Cinerama films moved to the Odeon Carlton and premiered with “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”. Then “Circus World” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” played there before Cinerama moved once again to the Glendale. It’s first movie in Cinerama was “The Halleujah Trail” beginning in July 1965. All subsequent Cinerama movies played here ending with the 2 year plus record breaking run of “2001: A Space Odyssey”. After that other big movies played there such as the long run of “Cabaret” and “Sleuth”. The last movie I saw there was “The Godfather Part 2” and shortly after the theatre was replaced by a Ford dealership. It was a lovely theatre and could have had several more years before multiplex mania swepped in.
It was built as a free standing structure Chad, still is. It was built across from Sherway Gardens mall on the north side of Queensway. It opened in December 97 with 9 screens and expanded to 13 screens in the mid 90s. Eventually a Chapters book store was built next door and restaurants in front of it and beside it. When it was closed, Sears opened a Furniture only store while the regular Sears department store is across the street in the mall. Additions were added to each side of the theatre building which now is a Home Outfitters store on one side and a Homesense store on the other with Sears in the middle. The outside looks somewhat the same as it did when it was a theatre and I remember that the cinemas had a much better box office system than the new Queensway 18 down the road. There were several box offices where you could just walk right thru and into the lobby after paying. You didn’t have to line up at just one line like you do now at the Queensway.
They are now advertising in the real estate pages of the Toronto papers a brand new 50 story condominium called…what else “The Uptown Residences”. At least the name lives on. The entrance will be from Balmuto St where the Backstage theatres used to be. What a shame they couldn’t have kept the Uptown going until Famous Players replacement across Yonge St opened. That site is still standing so who knows how many years that will take. They were in such a hurry to tear down the Uptown and then look what happened. The Yonge-Bloor area which once had so many screens now only has the Varsity 12 and the Cumberland 4. It is right at the crossroads of Toronto, it was wonderful having so many theatres to go to with so many choices. It hasn’t been the same since and now the movie theatres are so scattered around the downtown/uptown area.
I forgot to mention that when it was owned by Cineplex Odeon it was called the Showcase Cinema.
This theatre was also owned for awhile by Cineplex Odeon in the late 80s/early 90s. It had the exclusive engagement of the Academy Award winning Best Picture of 1987 “The Last Emperor” which I saw there in full 70MM. It was a great location right at the Yonge/Bloor intersection when that was THE centre of moviegoing with the Uptown 5, Towne Cinema, Plaza Twin, Varsity Twin, University and Cumberland 4. Those were the days.
Steve, if you look at Famous Players website, the Silvercity St Vital is a 10 screen, stadium seating, curved screen multiplex. Just like all of the other Silvercity brand theatres in Canada. Why did you list it as the other cinema with 6 screens that came before it but call it Silvercity which it wasn’t?
Thanks TC I will. The Boyd was on a side street, I’m not sure which one, across from Hess Brothers department store. I went to see “Funny Girl” there for the second time (in the summer of ‘69). It was demolished for a parking garage..what a shame! The Eric was a brand new theater further down Hamilton St. I went there also in the summer of '69 to see “Midnight Cowboy”. The trailer for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was shown before the movie. When I went to Allentown in '89 I think the Eric was a 5 plex. They added on to the parking lot. The Capri was on Hamilton St. near the Colonial and I remember seeing the Doris Day movie there “Caprice”. At the Colonial which I believe was the largest theatre in Allentown, I saw “Rosemary’s Baby” in the summer of '68. At the Plaza at Whitehall, I saw “Summer of 42” in 1971 which left a lasting impression on me. Whenever I went to visit, I tried to see as many movies as possible so there might be some I have forgotten. I do remember seeing “Hawaii” in '67 at the Rialto. I think I saw “El Cid” at the Rialto as well in '62.
I forgot the 19th St theatre!! My cousin took me there in 1967 to see “You Only Live Twice”. He lived in NJ too, in Millburn but he came home to Allentown to visit when I was there. I have a lot of memories there.
Thanks TC, it worked beautifully. I have fond memories of attending the Rialto when visiting my aunt in the 60s. She lived on Walnut St just south of Hamilton St and the Rialto was the closest theatre to her house. I always loved the architecture of the lobby and the huge auditorium. I also saw films at the Boyd, Colonial, Capri, Eric and Plaza at Whitehall Mall. To bad they couldn’t have turned the Rialto or Boyd or Colonial in to some kind of concert hall as other cities have. It’s a shame to lose all of that great architecture. They don’t build them like they used to.
Where on the Library of Congress website? I went to look and there are so many listings, I couldn’t imagine where they would have photos of the Rialto theater of Allentown.
Sad, sad commentary on the state of downtown Allentown. I have many fond memories of visiting my aunt who lived on Walnut St from the time I was a child until the mid seventies. Many times I went to the movies at the Colonial plus the Capri, Rialto, Eric, Boyd and the Plaza out at Whitehall Mall. The last time I visited Allentown was in 1989 and the Hamilton St Mall still looked OK. The Americus Hotel looked fine and was run by Ramada (I think) I saw the Colonial still standing and back then it looked pretty good. It’s too damn bad that something couldn’t be done a long time ago to save the theatre that I think was the biggest in Allentown. If Easton has the State and many other cities have former movie palaces now showing plays, concerts, Broadway shows etc the Allentown could have had the Colonial. No wonder so many downtowns are becoming places where people don’t go anymore. Sounds like if the Colonial and the Americus Hotel were restored then it would be a plus to the city of Allentown to have two historic places to go. What happened to the Eric which was built in the late 60’s and was so modern and comfortable?? I saw “Midnight Cowboy” there when I was 17 and couldn’t get in yet in Toronto where it was restricted to 18 and over.
Just consider yourselves lucky in New York that AMC had the imagination to do this. Here in Toronto there are so many old theatres they could have done this to but instead just demolished them. Especially our old beloved University theatre, the facade is still there but now it’s a Pottery Barn. Oh well, that’s progress.
Actually the Westwood was built as a large single screen theatre in 1951. In 1968 they added on an addition to the east side of the building and that became the Westwood Cinema. In 1980 just in time for the Christmas attactions, the large original screen was divided down the middle and became Westwood 2 & 3 and the former Cinema became the larger theatre Westwood 1. The theatre closed in April of 1998 and one of the last attractions was “Titanic”. The building has sat empty ever since. What a waste!
This theatre was incorporated into the Cineplex Odeon Granville 7 which opened around 1987 and is still operating. It’s one of only 2 left on the old theatre row (the other is Famous Players Capitol 6)
Drove by the Humber the other day only to see a large application sign on the front to build a 13 story building on the site! That won’t fit into the surrounding area of Bloor West Village! So much for keeping the theatre intact like they did at the nearby Runnymede which is now a Chapters bookstore. You can still see the old theatre there and they did a marvellous job restoring it. Why couldn’t someone with imagination turn the Humber into something like that. The old Odeon Danforth-the only other original Odeon in Toronto still standing is now a fitness club and when you go in there you can still see the old long lobby and the theatre itself with the balcony yet! Why couldn’t the Humber become a fitness club? Or an event theatre for the west end like the Capitol, York and Eglinton are for North Toronto. Anything to keep that lovely old theatre the way it was. Bloor West village used to be a great entertainment destination with the Runnymede twin and Humber twin and all of the great restaurants and coffee shops mixed in with the stores. Since the Humber closed, I have less reason to go there anymore. Oh well it’s Toronto’s loss, another old movie palace biting the dust.
Good news! The Music Hall is once again open and showing movies as part of the Festival Chain. It’s schedule for May and June is in the Festival paper.
Depends on what you think is old Chad, I’m 52 now so I was 12 when the mall and theatres opened. We went there alot when it opened.