Paradise Theatre

1006 Bloor Street W,
Toronto, ON M6H 1M2

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Paradise Theatre

In 1910 a one-story brick theatorium, the Bloor Palace, was built. It was part of the neighborhood’s wave of development around when this section of Bloor Street was paved. It was renamed Kitchener Theatre in 1918.

The Paradise Theatre was built and opened in 1937. It was designed in an Art Deco/Streamline Moderne style by one of Toronto’s earliest practicing Jewish architects Benjamin Brown. It had 643-seats including a balcony where you ‘could smoke if you wished’.

In 1957 a decade of various ownerships began. There is evidence of German (Paradise Kino) and Italian (Nouvo Cinema Paradise). In 1966 it was part of the Italian community hub. A local family, the Giacomini’s purchased the Paradise and operated it as an Italian filmhouse. Every 3-months Francesco Giacomini brought un-subtitled 35mm film prints back from Italy to share with the local audience. In the 1980’s the Giacomini’s leave the movie exhibition business, selling the building, but holding the mortgage. The interim owner leases the Paradise out to the Eves and Edens chain of adult theatre and it is renamed Eve’s Paradise.

In 1990 the Paradise was taken over by the Festival Cinemas chain, which showed repertory and arthouse fare in Toronto’s stalwart single screen venues, including the Bloor Theatre (now Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema), Revue Theatre, Kingsway Theatre and Fox Theatre. It was renamed Paradise Cinema.

The Paradise Cinema was closed in July 2006 when the Festival Cinemas chain ceased business.

In 2018 renovations began and is due to reopen later in 2019 as a multi-use venue which will include movies.

Contributed by Jason R, hdtv267

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Just another day in Paradise.

socal09
socal09 on June 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm

This theatre was used for two scenes in the 2004 feature film ‘Home at the End of the World’ with Colin Farell. The theatre has a balcony and the decor is quite plain inside. It has a small lobby area with a concession counter. I only saw one movie here and the sound wasn’t good. Hopefully someone will reopen it someday. It’s a nice neighborhood theatre worth preserving.

socal09
socal09 on June 12, 2011 at 1:45 am

New photos added, taken April 2003.

english4bw
english4bw on January 24, 2012 at 11:37 am

Quick question – is the stage under the curtain in this theatre still operational? ie; would it work for musical performances/church services?

gordonmcleod
gordonmcleod on May 22, 2013 at 8:32 am

The stage infront of the curtain is a small plywood structure the original stage and procenium is located about 10feet behind the screen with a very narrow procenium arch giving a very small 137:1 picture Festival moved the screen forward to allow it to be wider The theatre never had any accoustic treatment and when we were installing the sound for festival we measured reverb time that was gigantic we used to joke the sound from the first show was bouncing around the room well after the movie was over

DavidDymond
DavidDymond on May 22, 2013 at 3:26 pm

This theatre was built and owned for many years by the Giacomini family.

Buffer
Buffer on June 9, 2018 at 11:42 am

Apparently the cinema was bought by vintner Moray Tawse and is slowly being made ready fir re-opening, maybe at the end of this year Source: Facebook.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm

If the name Paradise Theatre appears only in 1944, this house must have operated under a different name earlier. This real estate listing (the property has sold, so the listing is likely to vanish soon) says that it was built in 1937, and was designed by architect Benjamin Brown.

The project was noted in the July 3, 1937 issue of The Film Daily:

“$40,000 House for Toronto

“Toronto, Ont. — A new $40,000 Theater and stores are to be erected at 1006 Bloor St. W. United Bricklaying Co., Ltd., of 276 Palmerston Ave., are general contractors.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Even more information appears: This weblog post by Doug Taylor says that the house did open as the Paradise in 1937, but the structure as designed by Benjamin Brown included remains of a gutted earlier building that had housed the Kitchener Theatre, opened as a movie house in 1909.

This post from blogTO says that the Paradise, now under renovation, is slated to reopen later this year as an upscale multi-use event facility, with movies as part of the mix.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 22, 2019 at 7:18 pm

Scheduled to reopen in 2019 as “A state-of-the-art venue presenting a curated mix of newly released films, older classics and undiscovered gems, as well as live music, talk series and multi-arts events.” Updated full history from 1910-2019 under “Read More” in below link. Including built as “one-storey brick theatorium" Bloor Palace in 1910, renamed The Kitchener in 1918.

http://paradiseonbloor.com/

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