Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas

10 Dundas Street East,
Toronto, ON M5B 2G9

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Showing 76 - 95 of 95 comments

Boczki on May 28, 2008 at 3:06 am

I have read all the above posts and I have to make a comment. We can be on here all day arguing pixels, film grain, product and practicality to gain an inch for film or digital but I think there is something that has been missed. You can’t say that you wish all the old ways could be back in the same breath as you say it’s probably gone forever. I’m just not buying it. I am reading between the lines and I say it reads, “Thank God film is dead!” I know a little bit about film projection and I know a little bit about human nature too. People rarely make decisions based on logic and practicality although; it always seems to be dragged in to support an emotional issue. We all do it. I am emotional about film and I look for logical reasons it should stay. All the logic in the world can’t make film stay around. In fact the only thing that can make film stay is an emotional response from audiences. Digital is just a buzzword and audiences think its better because they don’t know what it is. What is killing film is that audiences don’t get to feel the print between their fingers and hear the gentle purr of the projector. I’ve found that when I talk to people who know nothing about film or theatres, they get really excited about film. Then again there’s not much I can say about D cinema that’s any more exiting than a Circuit City salesman can tell you about a home theatre set-up. I’ve run film and installed film projectors. I’ve run digital cinema and installed digital cinema. D cinema servers are just computers with network addresses, digital projectors are overblown computer monitors and as far as I can see nothing about that seems to be interesting to the average person. I think film is an important medium for creativity like paint on canvas. Film is not just a technology it is an art.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on April 9, 2008 at 9:24 am

I agree that the loss of real live projectionists has been somewhat of a disaster. On the other hand, I found that many union guys couldn’t have card less either. But then, the ones who did, were worth their weight in gold. Things are just different and no matter how much I personally would prefergoing to a properly run theatre with 70mm film projected onto a huge curved screen, intermissions with curtains, overtures before the film begins, ushers to take us to our reserved seats – those days are probably gone forever. And as to shooting on film, does it really matter anymore? The original negs are immediately digitized so that color corrections, fades, dissolves, titles and special effects are done on computers. The finished product is then either converted back to film or sent to cinemas on hard drives. Then after a couple of months these same films appear on the shelves of our local video stores. I think the movie business as we knew it has basically Gone Away With the Wind.

markp on April 9, 2008 at 8:54 am

OK Jon, you got me on at least one point, and when someone is right, I admit being wrong. I have been an IATSE projectionist for almost 33 years now. In all my time, working in grindhouses to multiplexes, I have always, always tried to give 150%. My father, who was IA for 55 years tought me that. The only sad thing was, that even when we started to get those ‘secret shoppers,’ and I would get scores of 96 – 100%, I was still looked at as a liability. My booth was so clean, you could eat off the floor. My projectors always looked like they came out of the crate, day one. My presentations never scratched, or dirty, even as I went from reel-to-reel, to platters. For this, I was told by the last major chain I worked for 4 years ago, that I was a dinosaur. So I guess what I’m saying is that all the good people are gone, replaced by kids and popcorn poppers who don’t know, and don’t care about presentation. (if they even know what it means) Thanks for calling me on that one.

Mic on April 8, 2008 at 6:51 pm

The framing and aspect ratio issues Jon mentions, especially at the mediocre and outdated Carlton & Cumberland theatres, occur because of the especially small screens at those Cinemas. I’ve never encountered those problems at ScotiaBank or Varsity and I’m hardly a fan of these theatres. Again, in this industry push towards digital projection the myth of the fragility of film prints has been exaggerated to justify the conversion. Most films these days (even if the prints are handled in multiplexes by teenagers) are lucky to have a six week theatrical run, hardly allowing them the time to deteriorate. Perfect framing or not, the loss of detail, resolution, and contrast one loses in the film to digital conversion is not worth the gains of maybe seeing something in the proper aspect ratio. And don’t forget that even if every theatre in North America converts to DLP, 70 to 80% of features will still be shot on film because of it’s superiority, the question remains then, why reduce the standards if all you get is a diluted approximation of the original source (film) for TV like sharpness.

The programming issue though is now the greater tragedy. The emergence of the new AMC has created a ridiculous situation without parallels. Scotia and AMC have entered into a climate of inflated bidding wars for content, resulting in garbage like Prom Night appearing on 5 screens !!!! at AMC, or even Run Fat Boy Run appearing on 5 screens at the Varsity & AMC. A theatre like the Varsity is now squeezing out the art films, because it must show whatever product Scotia loses to the AMC to compensate for any Cineplex loss. We had a horrible climate for art and indie film distribution before the AMC arrived, and believe it or not, with the addition of 24 more screens to the downtown core the situation is even worse. Forget about any art films ever showing at the new AMC, even though these films can make more money than Run Fat Boy on its second or third screen, they’re only available on 35mm 95% of the time, a situation that won’t change anytime soon. They can’t be shown at AMC because of their stupid and arrogant decision to go all digital. This pathetic situation is a true embarrassment to the city’s film culture.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on April 8, 2008 at 11:12 am

Hello movies 534. If we had a cinema that was provided with the same quality of prints that the studios view in their plush screening rooms and that said cinema was equipped with top quality, well maintained equipment, well then I might agree with you. However, that is NOT the case. When I go to the movies I expect a steady picture, framed correctly, shown in the right aspect ratio and be in perfect focus from edge to edge. Projection and sound at the Cumberland, the Carlton and a host of others is mediocre at best, and when you compare these examples to the new AMC – the AMC wins on all counts. By the way, I have run a very succesful independent movie house and also been involved in film production. I like film but let’s face facts: its day is fading fast. Like how many people (amateurs & professionals alilke) still shoot their photographs on film? I think we all know the answer to that question.

John Fink
John Fink on April 8, 2008 at 12:14 am

This one is splitting films with Scotiabank (Paramount), which I was impressed by at last year’s TIFF (perfect for a film festival since you can survive all day with that food court). AMC though I noticed is getting some better bookings including this week Leatherheads and The Ruins, whereas Scotiabank is stuck with Shine a Light (on its IMAX screen) and some other indie film. I wonder what this will do – this is essentially the Toronto version of what happened on 42nd street in Manhattan with AMC Empire 25 and the Loews (now Regal) E-Walk. Not to mention the Varsity isn’t that far away, sharing a few of the more “upscale” titles (Varsity did share with Scotiabank as well), and The Carlton. If AMC elects to pick up more art product (they do at Empire), even on say 3-4 screens, could that spell the end for theaters like The Carlton and the Cumberland? (Then again would art film goers venture to Dundas Younge square which seems to scream “tourist hotspot”?) Also too the Bell Lightbox is schedule to open in for the TIFF in 2009 – with 5 screens that could, I assume, pick up some art bookings on a regular basis (and confirm what Toronto natives mentioned to me in line at TIFF: the festival is moving further South away from the Cumberland and former Uptown theaters). Personally I think 24 screens is way way too many, I thought AMC was getting away from these huge complexes? Cineplex LP seems to be building smaller and more luxurious theaters while AMC really hasn’t committed to such concepts as VIP seating, fine dinning, bars and expanded concession menus the way that Famous Players/Cineplex and in the US, National Amusements and Muvico have.

markp on April 7, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Thanks. Tell that to Howard and Jon above. They all think this digital thing is the end all be all.

Mic on April 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm

Digital cinema sucks, it’s a scam folks. It barely measures up to 16mm, let alone 70mm. Sure the picture is sharp as hell, gone however is the resolution,contrast ratio,detail,superior color range and dozens of other variables which lend 35mm film it’s beauty. Remove the digital projection gimmick from AMC Yonge/Dundas and all you’re left with is the most narrow selection of film in this city, even for a cookie cutter multiplex. If WalMart opened a theatre it would have more selection than this theatre. A waste in every sense of the word. Below is an excerpt from a cited article in Torontoist detailing with stats the inferiority of Digital Projection

As reported by, AMC claims that its “SXRD 4K digital projectors from Sony will provide images that are four times the resolution of HDTV.” The key word in that sentence is “will.” The fact is that although the projectors have that capability, few, if any, movies are yet rendered or distributed in 4k format. The current standard for digital theatrical presentation is 2k, meaning a resolution of 2048 pixels by 1080 pixels. For comparison, a Blu-Ray DVD shown on a good high-definition television is 1920 x 1080; the iMac on which this article is being typed is running at 1680 x 1050. This works great for a twenty-inch monitor, but the screens in the two largest auditoriums at the new AMC are three storeys tall and about twice as wide. 35mm film, on the other hand, works out to the equivalent of 4850 x 4850, still better than 4k’s 4096 x 2160. Film also has superior colour range and contrast ratio.

moviebuff82 on March 31, 2008 at 2:48 pm

From what I’ve seen pictures of, this theater’s interior is very similar to the one in Paramus but is larger and has more screens and seats than Paramus. The closest 24 screen theater near me is in Hamilton, NJ, and that’s owned by AMC. Next time I hang out in Toronto, I’ll check out this theater and bring in a passport!!!

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on March 31, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Thanks Howard, I will.

HowardBHaas on March 31, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Ignore movie534 and enjoy the new state of the art, very central movie theater!

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on March 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm

I love old movie theatres too – I ran one for almost ten years. I’m very proud of the fact that I was once complimented on my cinema’s excellent sound system by film composer Jerry Goldsmith. Unfortunately, the only ones left in the city of Toronto with state-of-the-art projection and sound facilities are the Regent and the Royal. The AMC may not be Cinema Treasure from out of the past, but it is one of the few places in Toronto where what a cinematographer records on film, shows up in perfect focus, framed correctly and in the correct aspect ratio on the screen.

markp on March 30, 2008 at 9:42 pm

That’s great Jon, but for us true film lovers, and old time movie palace lovers, we just can’t justify calling this new sheetrock multiplex a Cinema Treasure. Sorry.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on March 28, 2008 at 10:28 am

This cinema has 5,000 very comfortable seats. All of the cinemas are equipped with Sony 4K projectors which produce images of startling clarity reminding me of what real 70mm used to look like. Not to mention that the multi-channel sound systsem produces uncompressed, full fidelity audio – unlike 35mm film.

And no, I don’t work for AMC, but I used to run a popular rep cinema in Toronto and was the art director for the Famous Players theatre chain for a number of years and am not an easy one to impress.

kencmcintyre on March 27, 2008 at 9:58 pm

I don’t think young people have much choice. The shoeboxes are what they will remember when they are older. I grew up in the sixties, and I missed out on what was ostensibly the golden age of theaters in the thirties and forties. I did get to see the Fox in Philadelphia before it was razed, as well as the Boyd. Those were palaces.

markp on March 27, 2008 at 8:53 pm

We would consider THIS a cinema treasure? I don’t think so.