University Theatre

100 Bloor Street W,
Toronto, ON M5S 1M4

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Famous Players

Architects: Eric W. Hounsom

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Opened on March 25, 1949, the University Theatre was one of the first movie theaters in North America to not only feature 70mm projection, but also a THX Dolby Surround Sound system. It was a good-sized theatre with a balcony so large that there was a snack bar on it as well as on the main floor.

It was a very popular theatre for its entire run and screened several significant premieres, including "Apocalypse Now" and a special double bill of "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" with a rare preview for the trailer of "Return of the Jedi" before it came out and was known as "Revenge of the Jedi."

Despite a petition of over 25,000 people, it was closed when the property value became too great to continue operating as a theatre. The University Theatre was demolished in 1986 and, today, only its rebuilt facade remains, fronting a newly constructed retail structure.

Contributed by J.D. Lafrance

Recent comments (view all 51 comments)

chuckkahn
chuckkahn on January 6, 2016 at 10:42 am

To the taunting jerryross: Why should Mr. Taylor get a break for putting out a book full of errors? If there is a more suitable medium for addressing the errors in Mr. Taylor’s book, please point the way. Otherwise, let’s applaud GiLG’s efforts at documenting them.

GilG
GilG on January 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Chuck, Thank you for your comments. Much appreciated. I was surprised by jerryross’s post. I would have thought that anyone using this site would want the most accurate details possible. But in this particular case, I guess not. Very puzzling.

GilG
GilG on January 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Oh, and Chuck, I forgot to mention something about your comment about this book being on library shelves. The Toronto Public Library has 19 print copies in branches across their system (including one in the Reference Library), and e-book downloads. And the University of Toronto has 5 copies (one each located in Innis College, St. Michael’s College, Victoria and University Colleges, and The Robarts Library, the University’s main humanities and social sciences research facility. So this is why I’m so concerned about the dissemination of inaccurate information.

chuckkahn
chuckkahn on January 6, 2016 at 12:55 pm

GilG, this is really disturbing that our libraries are being used to disseminate inaccurate information. What was your count for the number of errors in Mr. Taylor’s book?

robboehm
robboehm on January 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

If you really want inaccurate information go to any historical society.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on January 6, 2016 at 11:20 pm

Why not publish a book with the accurate information and make sure its in the libraries mentioned. That way the accurate information will be out there.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 9, 2018 at 10:47 pm

1962 photo added via below link.

https://torontolife.com/city/life/remember-heritage-minutes-guy-creates-toronto-minutes/?fbclid=IwAR0a55a0SXXfCYuVTT0HxlWa6rr7ZtHlMqwadp79MqaHMw7PNZJ7wRKLlG4

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on August 12, 2019 at 8:48 am

1959 picture added to Photos section

MSC77
MSC77 on December 25, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The University’s 57-week run is mentioned in the piece.

m00se1111
m00se1111 on January 19, 2022 at 6:41 am

Exterior & Interior photos of this theatre in a YouTube video “Top 10 Lost Toronto Movie Theatres” Watch entire video here

https://youtu.be/WUQvL8e4ksc

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