Comments from JohnnyCool

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JohnnyCool commented about University Theatre on Jun 10, 2011 at 3:35 am

I’m writing an article about Apocalypse Now to coincide with the UK Blu-ray release on Monday (13th June). Anyone have or know where I might find a photo of the facade of the University from the initial run of Apocalypse Now there in August 1979?

JohnnyCool commented about New Yorker Theatre on Jan 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I know I have seen photos of the New Yorker with the gorilla atop it, but not for many years.

It doubled as a live music venue and cinema for a time in the mid ‘70s, and played host to a Talking Heads/Ramones double bill amongst other shows that I have no knowledge of (I was at that Talking Heads/Ramones show, and TH drummer Chris Frantz told me in recent years that he remembers the gorilla on the roof!).

JohnnyCool commented about Grand Theatre on Jan 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Wow…that is pretty ugly…..has to be said.

JohnnyCool commented about Cameo Theatre on Jan 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Can someone tell me just how far north of Danforth this cinema was? Before my time but I have lived around that area a few times, including the first 12 years of my life and about a year ago, so I’m curious as to where it was and what stands on that spot now.

JohnnyCool commented about Bay Ridges Drive-In on Jan 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Pretty certain this is one of the two drive-ins east of Toronto (the other being the Teepee) that my parents took me to (and subsequently my brother and me, who was born when I was 6) when I was very young in the ‘60s. It was laways a challenge at a young age to stay awake through the B picture which was up first to be able to see the main feature.
It was either here or the Teepee where I saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

JohnnyCool commented about Roxy Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Ah, the Roxy….I had a lot of history with this one. John Wayne and other western double bills with my dad in the late ‘60s and early '70s; cult film double/triple bills on Sunday afternoons (my favorite of these being 'The Kids Are Alright,’ (cranked WAAAAy up) ‘Rock 'n’ Roll High School,‘ and 'The Magic Christian’) in the late ‘70s and early '80s. I also remember a double bill of 'Raging Bull’ and ‘Taxi Driver’ that had me so pumped with venom I was ready to murder the first passerby when I emerged at midnight…and on and on.

There is no way sitting in a bland box with stadium seating and great sound and picture can compare to the experience of reps….cinemas have lost their soul.

Sadly, the status needs to be changed to ‘CLOSED/DEMOLISHED;’ it was bulldozed in the autumn of ‘09.

JohnnyCool commented about Regent Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

No…the Paramount was renamed the Scotiabank because they pumped a lot of money into the Scene card promotion scheme, and offer Scene branded debit and credit cards to collect Cineplex redeemable points.

I for one refuse to call the Paramount the Scotiabank; it’s a CINEMA, not a bank.

Perhaps I should open a bank and call it Rialto?

JohnnyCool commented about Plaza Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Indeed, this cinema’s interior was pedestrian but it excellenty located. I recall being blown away by Raging Bull here on its first release.

JohnnyCool commented about Palace Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Does anyone know if this the theatre I refer to as the Pape, just east of Pape on the north side of Danforth?

JohnnyCool commented about Mount Pleasant Cinema on Jan 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Saw a pristine print of ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut’ here a couple of years ago when Warner Home Video had put out a few prints in limited release to promote the DVD and Blu-ray release.

It is now perhaps the finest neighbourhood single screen left in Toronto; cherish it people, cherish it!

JohnnyCool commented about Metro Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

This cinema, while now a tawdry throwback to the diminshed lot of great movie houses that was common in the ‘70s and '80s, has an illustrious history and interesting lobby decor.

I hoped someone like the Rainbow group would purchase it because the well heeled neigbourhod (which I live in) could use a first run house…but alas, they are not about spending money on renovations, but are about taking over existing multi screen houses (such as the one they had in Fairview Mall and the one they operate successfully on Front) and being very competitive price wise.

JohnnyCool commented about Odeon Danforth on Jan 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm

The ‘Rex Danforth’ was also a live music venue for a brief time; I saw Devo there in about 1980/81. The mighty Clash also played there I believe.

What of the Pape across the street from it (kitty corner)? I grew up in the neighbourhood and frequented the Pape and the Donlands cinemas, as well as the beloved (and recently demolished) Roxy at Greenwood and Danforth (which was a second run house before becoming a rep under the stewardship of Gary Topp in the later ‘70s).

JohnnyCool commented about Coronet Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

Rock ‘n’ roll and cult film double bills on Saturday nights are what I recall seeing at the Coronet in the late ‘70s/early '80s. They seemed to have a devil may care attitude about the Ontario Film Censor Board, bringing in prints of excessive films that CLEARLY could not have undergone the scrutiny of the Ontario Film Censor Board. I vividly recall watching the betry gory 'Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein’ in 3-D while tripping….

JohnnyCool commented about Donlands Theatre on Jan 10, 2010 at 11:05 am

I lived on Donmore Avenue (Donlands and Mortimer) as a young boy (1966-1973), which was a few blocks away; thus, I saw a lot of films there with my father in those years(although the only one I definitely remember seeing was a (non-cinerama) reissue of ‘How The West Was Won’).

I lived nearby there again briefly in recent years, and would always get a warm feeling walking by and thinking of my late father, who instilled the passion for cinema in me (thanks pops).

Canadian roots rock stalwarts Blue Rodeo recorded their second LP ‘Diamond Mine’ at the recording studio that was/is(?)resident there in the late ‘80s.

JohnnyCool commented about "Apocalypse Now" 30th Anniversary on Jan 10, 2010 at 9:55 am

I saw ‘AN’ at Toronto’s lovely University Theatre the week it opened, at the Friday evening 7 PM (I think it was 7, might have been 8) show.

Frederic Forrest (Chef) was sitting in front of me, and had obviously had a few as he was giddy before it started and during the first part of the film, until he nodded off. The esteemed Canadian journalist Patrick Watson sat on my right. It was breathtaking as a cinematic viewing experience and as a work of art. Haven’t yet watched the ‘official’ redux version, but saw an approximation of it which included the French colonial plantation segment on a VHS bootleg a friend had many years ago.

Can’t say it seemed any better longer…FFC should have left well enough alone. Too often these hindsight tinkerings are nothing more than a cynical marketing excercise when it is felt all the dollars possible have been wrung out of a home entertainment money spinner.

JohnnyCool commented about Best movie of the decade? on Jan 10, 2010 at 9:06 am

And interesting how many people rate The Departed so highly, which just seemed overwrought and sloppy to me. Check out the HK film it was adapted from, Infernal Affairs, for some sequences of true brilliance that were not translated in anywhere near as rivetting a fashion.

JohnnyCool commented about Best movie of the decade? on Jan 10, 2010 at 9:04 am

Boy oh boy these lists certainly are subjective, aren’t they? No offense to anyone, but some decidedly pedestrian films made some people’s lists…and once again we see how films elicit different responses.
It’s interesting that so many print reviewers seem to have forgotten about the Lord of the Rings trilogy; I could never get through Tolkien’s books but the films taken as a whole are a spellbinding epic, the defining one of the decade, that demands to be seen in a cinema.
It was a very good decade for both mainstream and independent film.

JohnnyCool commented about University Theatre on Jan 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm

The University holds so many fond memories for me; I’m sad that I will never get to share the joy of watching a film there with my sons (both teenagers and both professional actors). Frederic Forrest sat in front of me when I saw ‘Apocalypse Now’ there; I saw ‘Alien’ there when I was 17 and looked about 12 (it was rated R…she wasn’t paying attention clearly). Saw at least onme of the original 3 ‘Star Wars’ there….had an advance ticket for ‘Heaven’s Gate’ but UA yanked it after one day so I didn’t get to use it!

I still go to the cinema at least once a week…but it isn’t the same, and never will be. When I took my oldest boy to the cinema for the first time (Holloway Road Odeon in north London to see ‘Lion King’ on its first run) I told him as we were going in (he was 2) ‘This is the closest this family gets to going to church; no talking!’. Sadly, we have no more St Pauls or Trinity of theatres…so goes the world.

Great site by the by, stumbled on it today while researching the Lyric/Century in Hamilton that is about to be torn down as it is very unsound…another great bloody shame.