York Theatres 1 & 2

101 Eglinton East,
Toronto, ON M4P 1H4

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chuckkahn on January 18, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Memorable screenings I attended here include 70mm presentations of Ghostbusters, Amadeus and the restored Lawrence of Arabia, Spartacus and My Fair Lady as well as 35mm presentations of The Last Temptation of Christ and Silverado as their first THX presentation and Jurassic Park as their first DTS presentation. I remember Warren Beatty complementing the York in a tv interview after he held an Ishtar screening there back in 1987.

Also saw the Special Editions of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back upstairs and Return of the Jedi downstairs. I think I saw myself in the lineup for Empire Strikes Back on CFTO news. I wonder if that video is online anywhere?

DavidDymond on February 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I really liked the Odeon York 1 & 2. Saw many movies in the 70’s there including Close Encounters of the First Kind on national release which was big time to me. Knew a few of the managers. This first Manager of this theatre died tragically in accident way too young – I don’t even think he was 25!

igoudge on June 23, 2012 at 7:15 am

Heard the news very recently they were finally going to be starting on clearing the site for the construction of the condos. Will be interesting to go back to the area to take a look to see how it is going along.

telliott on May 28, 2012 at 10:28 am

This, one of my very favourite theatres has now been demolished, to make way for the Madison condominium complex. I have fond memories of this beautiful building, right from the beginning, went here a lot durning the 70s and 80s, saw many major releases here over the years. This was a first run showcase for the Odeon chain back then and have missed it since it’s closing. Farewell Odeon York!

coasternut (Robert Morrow)
coasternut (Robert Morrow) on July 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

The Yorkville Club has now been closed as the building is about to become a new condo complex along with the parking lot to the west of the theatre building.

socal09 on June 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm

The marker on the Google map is in the wrong place. After closing, it served as a banquet/events hall for a while and is now a fitness centre called the Yorkville Club.

PeterD on March 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Hollywood South was a good auditorium. North…not so much. The Hyland downstairs had a negative projection angle (sort of like a drive-in) and a very wide screen. I usually sat about 4 or 5 rows in front of the booth left of the aisle. I must have seen ET there a half-dozen times including opening night. I still remember lines for that going down the side alley and ‘round the back. Was a nice booth to work, too, though I didn’t like upstairs as much.

telliott on March 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Ahh the Hyland. Another one of my favourites (with the Hollywood next door). I remember growing up in the 60s when all of these places were still single screen theatres (Hyland, Fairlawn, Runnymede, Humber, Uptown, Imperial etc) and my favourite spot was the front row of the balcony. And I remember the Westwood when it was one big theatre before they added on the Westwood “Cinema” in 1968…those were the days.

telliott on March 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Ahh the Hyland. Another one of my favourites (with the Hollywood next door). I remember growing up in the 60s when all of these places were still single screen theatres (Hyland, Fairlawn, Runnymede, Humber, Uptown, Imperial etc) and my favourite spot was the front row of the balcony. And I remember the Westwood when it was one big theatre before they added on the Westwood “Cinema” in 1968…those were the days.

igoudge on March 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Unfortunately only was able to catch I think it was 2 screenings at the Hyland while I was in film school and dont remember too much either way as to how it presented (maybe it was just the film I saw in Ravenous that turned me off lol ). Total agreement for the presentation and sound for the Famous screens.

PeterD on March 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Much as the York had good sound its picture was too small for my liking. Sound systems were calibrated 2/3 the way back and just off center at the time and if you were seated in the sweet-spot your field of view went beyond the masking on both sides. I found that quite off-putting and I preferred to see films elsewhere as a result. For anything in the Canadian Odeon chain (later C-O) I usually preferred the Hyland downstairs or Fairview #1, 2 or 6. For FP, it was obviously the Eglinton or Uptown 1.

igoudge on March 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Yeah the York with the personal connection I had to the place working it I really miss after the long run, along with the Uptown for all the festival screenings I caught there in its time and the Westwood for all the childhood memories. They, in some ways, don’t make them like that anymore le sigh

telliott on March 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I remember after the Canada Square 8 opened, the big pictures would open at the York, stay a few weeks or more and then move over to Canada Square to continue their run, sometimes lasting weeks. It was the perfect set up. Yes, of all the theatres we’ve lost over the years, the York is one of the ones I really miss. But at least it was open for over 30 years, which is longer than the magnificent Odeon Carlton, which lasted for only about 25.

igoudge on March 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

But yeah had a feeling it was going to be a condo project, bummer

igoudge on March 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Yeah I fell in love with the York 1 theatre having worked there the summer of ID4 back in 1996. Awesomeness and totally agree with you a bout the grande staircase, a huge amount of class for the venue.

telliott on March 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I recently heard something about a condo called The Madison will be built on the south side of Eglinton taking up the whole block, so alas the once beautiful original Odeon York will be coming down. That is why the Yorkville Club broke it’s lease early. Saw a lot of great pictures there at the York, a lot of them in 70MM in the big York 1 upstairs. Loved that curved glass enclosed staircase that led up and down to the cinemas from the main lobby.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

okay,In Augusta the Local here 518 was LAX.Often the projectionist would walk in the office during slow periods and “shoot the bull”.At Regency 1-2-3 Cinemas Chuck Dray the Union’s Business agent could often be spotted at Chick-Fil-a sipping Coffee.I remember one time Cinema One lost sound and I walked over to tell Chuck. He thought I was Kidding,Boy did that 63 year old man fly up those Steps.Tis and Peter both lived in larger Cities,hence the Union went by the books a bit more.I always hated doing Payroll I think at that time they were making about Eight Dollars an hour in Augusta[Mid 70’s].Me,How about $2.50 an hour to be resposible for a large Twin Theatre.

igoudge on March 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I wonder what is happening with the former site of the York next, both the Event Hall and gym that moved in after the closure have both been shuttered. Doubt there will be a chase of it being converted back with Silvercity, Canada Square Mt Pleasent and Regent D all being so close ;–( Has anyone heard anything?

TLSLOEWS on March 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Mike we always took the pay envelopes up to the booth on Friday Nights.Some projectionists would pick them up at the office too. I did not mind as that was the only time they would welcome you to visit the booth.

igoudge on March 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Defintely was a nice gesture for sure.

PeterD on March 29, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Yes, it was a strong union for many years; IATSE Local 173 and I was proud to be a member of it for 19 years before taking a withdrawal card. The projectionist upstairs at that time was the local’s president and a really good guy.

Rules were that the projectionist stayed in the booth the whole shift. There was a washroom and a hotplate in there; you left when relieved or at night’s end. It was out of courtesy that we brought his cheque up to him when they were being distributed to the staff.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Peter what do mean bring his paycheck to him,was he too dang lazy to pick it up himself.You gotta be kidding me.Never heard such a tale.Well,Maybe they had a REAL STRONG UNION.LOL.

igoudge on February 25, 2010 at 7:47 am

Yeah the Eglington and the York has some pretty good THX systems with the Uptown being extremely close. I miss those days of those grand halls.

PeterD on July 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

I started in the business as an usher here in summer 1980. Massive sellout crowds for The Blue Lagoon <grin>. One of my duties as an usher was to bring the projectionist his paycheque every week. One day it wasn’t in an envelope. That was the day I decided a career change was in the offing! I later worked there many times as a relief operator. I think the capacity was 751 up and 468 down, but that’s going on almost 30 years worth of memories.

They ran 35/70mm Vic 8’s upstairs and very strange, stripped-down 35mm-only Vic-8s down, both on 6000' reels at the time, a two-man job. When they eliminated the downstairs booth as a separate job they put Drive-In Platters in both. Upstairs was indeed a very good THX installation (Rick Long did wonderful installations for Best Theater Supply), but I don’t think the Uptown ever got THX Certified due to the rumble from the subway underneath—same reason that the Hyland couldn’t be THX’d. Only better THX installation at the time was the Eglinton, which remained the best I’d ever seen up till the end.

igoudge on June 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I remember working here during the summer of ID4, awesome times~ plus one of the two best THX systems in the city along with the Uptown.