Plaza 1 & 2
176 Yonge Street,
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Previously operated by: Famous Players
Architects: Mandel C. Sprachman
Styles: Art Deco
The Plaza 1 & 2 was located at the corner of Bloor Street E. and Yonge Street at subway level in the Hudson’s Bay Centre (which opened in 1974) in downtown Toronto. The Plaza 1 & 2 opened in 1976 with Robert Redford in “All the President’s Men” & James Naughton in “Second Wind”.
Famous Players owned this twin theatre, which had Dolby stereo sound and 1,060 seats.
Sadly, the lease expired and the Plaza 1 & 2 closed on April 12, 2001 with Jude Law in “Enemy at the Gates” & Jean Reno in “Just Visiting”.
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Recent comments (view all 13 comments)
Indeed, this cinema’s interior was pedestrian but it excellenty located. I recall being blown away by Raging Bull here on its first release.
I often wonder what they use all the space for cinemas such as these after they close. I mean, when you walk by the entrance at the Hudson’s Bay Centre, you would never know a theatre ever existed there. Are the 2 cinemas still sitting there empty after all these years? Makes you wonder what they could use them for now. Even a twin cinema still open at this location would be better than nothing. You didn’t even have to go outside when you got off the subway. It was practically across the hall of the mall.
Famous did not choose to close but were evicted as the space was required for the new heating system that was being installed and the auditorium is now a boiler room
Famous Players would have to had to spend a fortune to make this theatre wheelchair accessible — and about the same time they were ordered to upgrade the Uptown, the Eglinton and the Plaza 1 & 2 — Famous Players chose wisely to close these theatres rather than spend any more money on them!!
April 8th, 1976 grand opening ad in photo section.
The August 2, 1976, Boxoffice article about the Plaza Twin starts on this page. It was, as other comments have noted, a very spare theater, not at all Art Deco in style. It would be best described as Midcentury Modern, but Streamline Modern would be far more apt than Art Deco.
This theatre opened in the spring of 1976 with All the President’s Men as one of its opening attractions. I attended this theatre week after its opening. Grant Millar was the first manager.
Great to see some pics of the place from the old Box Office Magazine. I’m guessing as the theater wore on it probably was renovated to look more like a standard, traditional Famous Players cinema. Would love to see more photos of this place over the decades.
Apparently I walked right by the entrance to this cinema last fall while in town for TIFF and didn’t even realize it!
Linkrot repair: Large scans of the article about the Plaza Theatre in the August 2, 1976, issue of Boxoffice can now be seen at this link.
The cinema closed on April 12, 2001. Its final two movies were “Enemy at the Gates” and “Just Visiting.”