Carlton Cinema

20 Carlton Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 2H5

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

truenorthstrongnfree on September 22, 2016 at 7:37 am

Now operated by Imagine Cinemas.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on October 16, 2012 at 6:52 am

The Carlton recently converted to digital projection… hurray! This gets rid of the following problems: pictures out of frame (microphones in frame), out of focus, poor sound reproduction, scratchy and, or dirty prints. These are some of the reasons I stopped going to this venue. A recent visit with perfect digital projection and sound was a real treat!

William Mewes
William Mewes on July 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

They have $5.00 Tuesday for the early performances!

Now if only they would bring back 25c popcorn.

John Fink
John Fink on November 20, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I visited the theater this afternoon – Magic Lantern refurbished much of it including installing new seats, carpeting and other changes including more seating the lobby area (removing Alan Smithee’s a bar that was there as Cineplex, however closed when I was there last), a new mural, and a new paint job. The place looks good – the screens are still small, but the theater is comfortable and far cheeper than their competitors ($9 adult price verses $13 elsewhere in town), hopefully it’s filling a niche because the programing is excellent.

It’s also worth noting it’s showing features day and date with many competitors including AMC Younge & Dundas, Scotibank, Varsity and even (currently) TIFF Bell Lightbox.

telliott on June 16, 2010 at 9:34 am

The Carlton cinemas will be re-opening on July 2nd and run by Magic Lantern Theatres. They have already included it on their website.

John Fink
John Fink on February 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Great news indeed, hopefully they’ll continue the art house mix that Cineplex had – I only went once (and took the cinema tour pics on the eve of the 2008 TIFF, we saw Outsourced that night). I don’t know what impact Bell Lightbox will have aside from providing a permanent home for the Cinematheque Ontario – even though AMC and Scotiabank split films they certainly haven’t really made the best of over screening by playing more art pictures, which is sad since I’m now based in Buffalo and would dig an art movie day-cation in Toronto, but there’s not much to see that won’t come to Buffalo with the Carlton gone.

telliott on February 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Great news! Can’t wait to see what it looks like when it re-opens. Can’t understand why they didn’t open a Rainbow Cinema in the closed Upper James 7 in Hamilton. Magic Lantern/Rainbow always seem to re-open former Cineplex Odeon theatres. That one would have been perfect for the people of Hamilton Mountain.

qwo06 on February 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

The Carlton Cinemas is set to reopen in June 2010 by Magic Lantern Theatres. Here is the link:

CSWalczak on February 12, 2010 at 7:28 am

There is a picture of this theatre’s opening day ad on Eric Veillette’s 32 Elvis Movies site here:

CSWalczak on February 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm

A picture of the theater shortly before its closing: View link

telliott on February 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Nope, they’re all there. Wasn’t that glorious!

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on February 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Those were the days for sure! We had the: University, Towne Cinema, Uptown, Cinecity, Varsity, New Yorker, Cumberland and the Plaza. Have I left any out?

telliott on February 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm

It’s interesting that the Cumberland Four does not have a listing on Cinema Treasures. Even though it’s been around almost 30 years. I still think it has one of the best locations in Toronto. Remember when the Bloor/Yonge/Bay/Avenue rd area had the most screens of anywhere in Toronto? Those WERE the days!

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on February 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm

You’re right Tim, they did have an auditorium called La Reserve and it was equipped for 70mm projection. It had a ridiculously small screen sitting high up over two exit doors. I remember when a 70mm print of the 3rd Star Wars film was booked into the Cumberland, Famous was forced to do a bit of a renovation so that they could install a slightly bigger screen. It was maximized for a 1.85 35mm presentation. Unfortunately, when they projected a 70mm print the masking was lowered which resulted in the smallest 70mm picture I ever saw anywhere. Needless to say, it did not impress. Mike Todd would have rolled over in his grave.

telliott on February 11, 2010 at 9:19 am

I once wrote to Famous Players and asked them if they had any plans to re-decorate the auditoriums. I always found the carpeting and especially the seats to be hidious colours and designs. Especially for that location within their head office. Remember when it opened, Cinema 1 was called La Reserve? I don’t think that lasted too long though. Wasn’t that screen capable for 70MM? It never looked wide enough to me to show that format. I remember that it opened around Christmas 1980 as well as the newly renovated Runnymede twin and the 3rd screen at the Westwood.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on February 11, 2010 at 9:07 am

Tim, I totally agree. The lobby was serviceable and the location excellent – but that was it. I was the art director for Famous Players at that time and from my desk I was able to look down into the Cumberland’s lobby. Each afternoon I could smell the popcorn being popped, and what made it almost irresistible was a spray that simulated the scent of butter. One afternoon I spotted Leonard Cohen walking into an auditorium. Unfortunately, I was too far away to note which movie he was about to see.

telliott on February 10, 2010 at 9:06 am

I agree Jon. I’ve never really liked that theatre except for it’s lobby and it’s great location. Other then that, I’ve never really liked any of the 4 cinemas themselves. Considering it was built in to what was then Famous Players head office building, I would have expected so much more.

Jon Lidolt
Jon Lidolt on February 10, 2010 at 8:01 am

Sad to think that the poorly designed Cumberland Cinema with its small screens, mediocre projection and so-so sound is now the only specialized movie house left in downtown Toronto. I remember seeing Brokeback Mountain there on it’s opening day – the place was sold out. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the picture jumped out of frame near the end of the movie. Heads appeared at the bottom of the screen, the frame line was in the centre. I finally had to run out to find someone to complain to. Turns out that management was aware of the situation but didn’t know what to do about it. Their non-union projectionist (probably an usher) finally framed the picture. It was still wrong but at least you could see the actors. I’ve never gone back to that theatre since. If the Cumberland is the only place to see a movie I’m anxious see, I prefer to wait for the film to play somewhere else, and if it doesn’t, I’ll watch it via Blu-ray on my big screen with a sharp image and great sound.

CSWalczak on February 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Then this theater should have an aka of Cineplex 10 Carlton.

I saw a couple of films there of times after 1990, and somehow “Elegant Theatre” seems a bit, shall we say, exaggerated?

telliott on February 9, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Yes, it was renovated in 1988 and the screens were re-designed so that you entered each cinema from the rear instead of the original layout from the front beside each screen. It was most distracting because every time someone entered during the movie or went out to the lobby, you tended to look at them coming and going. They also re-designed the layout of the individual theatres to enlarge the lobby to include a larger cafe area. So on May 6 1988 it re-opened with 9 screens instead of 10. The ads said “Return of the Elegant Theatre” and “North America’s Premiere Arthouse”

CSWalczak on February 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm

According to this article from the Toronto Star, this theatre opened as the Cineplex 10 Carlton on July 1, 1981, based on the microfilm that the author consulted. Did the theatre lose a screen somewhere along the line? View link

telliott on December 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Maybe Cineplex Entertainment should seriously consider building a brand new state of the art “art” house to replace the Carlton. After all, Toronto is supposed to be one of the most serious film going cities in the country. Otherwise we need something similar to the Angelika Film centre in the states or similar to a Landmark theatre which shows the same kinds of films that the Carlton did. I remember many years ago Alliance cinemas was looking for a replacement site for the Cumberland with more screens but that never happened. And if that one closes, well then we’re really in trouble in terms of the type of cinema that would show these kinds of films. Unless they turn the Canada Square in to an exclusive art/foreign/indie type of theatre. I haven’t seen as many articles about a theatre closing since the Uptown and Eglinton closing years ago

telliott on December 8, 2009 at 10:19 am

With all the press this place has gotten since announcing it’s closing….every major amd minor newspaper practically, maybe someone should come along and fix it up and re-open it. Obviously there IS a market out there for this type of cinema and seems like it’s going to be sorely missed by alot of people. I do think that Toronto needs a place like this to play the offbeat and obscure films that build by word of mouth and play for weeks and months. Maybe the outcry for this place will make Cineplex Entertainment realize that the Cumberland Four IS worth keeping open after all.

HowardBHaas on December 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm

December 4 Globe and Mail article about its closing & effect on Toronto moviegoing:
View link

socal09 on November 22, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Hdtv267: Who made you queen of CT? Everyone is free to post on these boards. Your bitchy replies aren’t needed either on here. Thanks.