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Toronto Film Venues
Aga Khan Museum
77 Wynford Drive, in North York
New Islamic culture museum with occasional film programming.
Al Green Theatre
In the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, on the southwest corner of Bloor and Spadina.
Home to the Toronto Jewish Film Society's monthly Sunday screenings and one of the venues comprising the yearly spring Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Over the summer of of 2005, Capri Films programmed first run releases and some specialty series but backed off on continuing.
 
Upcoming :
Dec 16    Father's Footsteps (2007, France, D: Marco Carmel)   TJFS
Alliance Atlantis Cinemas
Beach, 1651 Queen E, just past Coxwell, in the Beaches
Once a promising cross-Canada chain of arthouse theatres, now reduced to a single mini-multiplexes in Toronto's east end. The Beach cinema sports stadium seating and runs almost exclusively commercial fare, with an emphasis on family films that appeal to the denizens of its residential neighbourhood.
Art Gallery Of Ontario
At Dundas and McCaul
Toronto's premier art gallery occasionally screens related films in its Jackman Hall (former home to Cinematheque Ontario).
 
Upcoming :
Dec 14,27-30    Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018, Canada, D: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier & Edward Burtynsky)
Camera
In the west end of downtown, at 1028 Queen W.
Tiny venue once nestled in the back of a downtown watering hole screened a mix of specialized experimental/indie programming and new arthouse releases from the Mongrel catalogue but is now connected to the Stephen Bulger Gallery and run as a private rental space with the occasional public presentation. No 35mm capability; films are often shown on projected video.
Cinecycle
129 Spadina, down the alley
Low-key experimental film venue, nestled behind tall buildings in the downtown core.
 
Upcoming :
Dec 14    Wrath Of God (1972, USA, D: Ralph Nelson)   Trash Palace
Cineplex Odeon
  • Canada Square, 2190 Yonge Street
  • Grande, 4861 Yonge, at Sheppard
  • Scotiabank, 259 Richmond W, at John
  • Silver City Yonge & Eglinton, 2300 Yonge Steeet
  • Varsity, 55 Bloor W, in the Manulife Centre
  • Yonge & Dundas, 10 Dundas E, in the heart of downtown Toronto
  • Now that it has swallowed Famous Players and a few AMC venues, Cineplex Odeon is Canada's major cinema chain, specializing in first-run fare in theatres that largely consist of noisy modern multiplexes with stadium seating. The stature of the uptown Canada Square has faded a good deal, but it continues to chug along nonetheless with crowdpleasing arthouse releases and late-in-the-run Hollywood product. Higher profile arthouse fare often shows up at the Varsity and occasionally the downtown Scotiabank first. In an example of marketing run amuck, the Scotiabank has been so branded despite the fact that it is neither a bank nor located in Nova Scotia.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 14,18,20,22    White Christmas (1954, USA, D: Michael Curtiz)   Cineplex Classic Film Series
    Dec 14,17,19    Degas: Passion For Perfection (2018, UK, D: David Bickerstaff)   In The Gallery
    Dec 16-17,19,21,24    It's A Wonderful Life (1946, USA, D: Frank Capra)   Cineplex Classic Film Series
    Dec 16    Water Lilies By Monet - The Magic Of Water And Light (2018, Italy, D: Giovanni Troilo)   In The Gallery
    Dec 17,27    They Shall Not Grow Old (2018, UK/New Zealand, D: Peter Jackson)
    Cinesphere
    On the waterfront, in the big white dome at Ontario Place
    Toronto's original Imax venue is back, screening large-format versions of Hollywood blockbusters.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 14-16    The Fifth Element (1997, France, D: Luc Besson)
    Dec 15-16    The Polar Express (IMAX 3D) (2004, USA, D: Robert Zemeckis)
    Dec 21-23    Die Hard (1988, USA, D: John McTiernan)
    Drake Hotel
    1150 Queen St. West
    West downtown boutique hotel hosting nightly arts programming, including the occasional indie film event.
    Eyesore Cinema
    1176 Bloor W
    Cult-movie video rental emporium + screening room.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 13    Two Front Teeth (2006, USA, D: Jamie Nash & David Thomas Sckrabulis)
    Dec 14    Kuffs (1992, USA, D: Bruce A. Evans)   Trashterpiece Theatre
    Dec 15    Wizard People, Dear Reader (2004, USA, D: Brad Neely)   Movies From The Web
    Dec 16    Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (Finland/Norway/Sweden, D: Jalmari Helander)
    Dec 19    A Cosmic Christmas (1977, Canada, D: Clive Smith)   Waybackbacon Playback
    Care Bears Nutcracker Suite (1988, Canada, D: Laura Shepherd & Joseph Sherman)
    Dec 21    Little Terrors Vol. 64 - Horrific Holiday (Xmas Edition)  Little Terrors
    The Fox
    in the Beaches at 2236 Queen E.
    Onetime Festival Cinemas house survived the June 2006 collapse of the repertory chain to begin a new life as an independent second run cinema. As of October 2007, the reins were transferred to the fellows at Napoleonic Theatres. Programming is basically second run screenings of Hollywood hits and high profile indies from the last couple of months' releases, augmented with an irregularly occurring documentary night and the odd classic.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 15    Home Alone (1990, USA, D: Chris Columbus)
    Dec 15    Tuition (2018, Canada, D: Kelvin Omori)
    Dec 16    It's A Wonderful Life (1946, USA, D: Frank Capra)    Free!

     
    Second Run :
    Dec 13    The Sisters Brothers
    Dec 14,16,19    Anthropocene
    Dec 14,16-18,20    Can You Ever Forgive Me?
    Dec 17-18    First Man
    Dec 19-20    Burning
    Goethe Institut
    163 King W, near University
    The Toronto chapter of the German cultural institution programmes German films of past and present at various city venues.
    Golden Theatres
  • Albion
  • Woodside
  • The magic of Bollywood screens at these two suburban cinemas located on either side of Toronto.
    Harbourfront Centre
    On the waterfront, at Queen's Quay
    Waterfront collection of indoor and outdoor venues hosts a variety of arts programmes, only occasionally film related. Weekend summer festivals often include a film sidebar. In the past, the warm weather has been met with free weekly outdoor screenings, but they don't seem to be happening this year.
    Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
    In the Annex at 506 Bloor W, just east of Bathurst
    Formerly the Bloor Cinema. Toronto's venerable repertory house was renovated and rebranded by the Hot Docs festival and then renamed thanks to an influx of cash from Rogers. Unsurprisingly, the slate is documentary-heavy, sporting both first runs of new docs and reprertory programming of reality-based classics. The cinema will also look back to its previous incarnation with an occasional series of cult flicks.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 13    Divide And Conquer: The Story Of Roger Ailes (2018, USA, D: Alexis Bloom)
    Dec 13    Nothing Like A Dame (2018, UK, D: Roger Michell)
    Dec 13    Rams (2018, USA, D: Gary Hustwit)
    Dec 14,17    Almost Almost Famous (2018, Canada/USA, D: Barry Lank)
    Dec 14-21    Masterworks
    Dec 14-23    Hot Docs For The Holidays
    Dec 15    Die Hard (1988, USA, D: John McTiernan)   Drunk Feminist Films
    Dec 16-17,19,27-28,30    You Are Here: A Come From Away Story (2018, Canada, D: Moze Mossanen)
    Dec 18    Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas (2017, Canada, D: Larry Weinstein)    Free!
    Dec 20    The Atomic Cafe (1982, USA, D: Kevin Fafferty, Jayne Loader & Pierce Rafferty)
    Imagine Cinemas
  • Carlton, 20 Carlton, near Yonge
  • Market Square, 80 Front, near Jarvis
  • Promenade, Promenade Mall, Thornhill
  • Woodbine, 500 Rexdale, in the Woodbine Shopping Center
  • Elgin Mills, 10909 Yonge St, in Richmond Hill
  • Five locations in the Greater Toronto Area, reviving venues discarded by the major chains with first run films and discount pricing. Previously part of the Rainbow Cinemas chain.
    Innis Town Hall
    On the downtown University Of Toronto campus, on the ground floor of the Innis College building, 2 Sussex Ave (at St. George).
    Medium-sized lecture hall venue, recently renovated, used for many of Toronto's smaller festivals in addition to U Of T events and weekly free screenings put on by the Cinema Studies Student Union.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 14    Suspiria (1977, Italy, D: Dario Argento)   FFF    Free!
    Isabel Bader Theatre
    On the downtown U of T campus at 93 Charles St. W (at University), next to Museum subway station
    Soft-seat University Of Toronto lecture hall used by a number of the city's major festivals. No real film programming of its own.
    Japan Foundation
    131 Bloor W, Second Floor
    The gateway through which Japanese culture often passes into Toronto.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 14    Like Father, Like Son (2013, Japan, D: Hirokazu Kore-Eda)    Free!
    Dec 18    After Life (1998, Japan, D: Hirokazu Koreeda)    Free!
    Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
    6 Garamond Court, near Don Mills & Eglinton
    Promoting Japanese culture in midtown. Regularly shows movies in its Kobayahi Hall.
    The Kingsway
    3030 Bloor W, near Royal York subway station
    Onetime Festival Cinemas house reopened in January 2009, two and a half years after the collapse of its former parent company. Programming currently consists of week-long runs of recent Hollywood fare, arthouse hits and high profile indies.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 14    Black Christmas (1974, Canada, D: Bob Clark)   Fear Is Free Fridays    Free!
    Black Christmas (2006, USA, D: Glen Morgan)
    The Signalman (1976, UK, D: Lawrence Gordon Clark)
    Dec 16    Hal Roach Comedies  TFS
    The Conquerors (1932, USA, D: William A. Wellman)
    Revue Cinema
    at 400 Roncesvalles, south from Dundas West station
    One-time Festival Cinemas house was saved from certain death by a community campaign and (as of Oct 4, 2007) is operating as an independent repertory cinema. Programming is basically second run screenings of recent fare spiced up with the occasional repertory title or film event. The old neighbourhood theatre is on the narrow side with a high screen, making sitting in the first five or ten rows ill-advised.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 13    Metropolitan (1990, USA, D: Whit Stillman)   Designing The Movies
    Dec 14    Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm (1993, USA, D: Eric Radomski & Bruce Timm)   Dumpster Racoon
    Dec 15    Elf (2003, USA, D: Jon Favreau)    Free!
    Dec 15,21-22    Die Hard (1988, USA, D: John McTiernan)   Drunken Cinema
    Dec 16    Home Alone (1990, USA, D: Chris Columbus)    Free!
    Dec 19    Gremlins (1984, USA, D: Joe Dante)    Free!

     
    Second Run :
    Dec 13,17,23    Mid90s
    Dec 14-18,20    Can You Ever Forgive Me?
    Dec 15-16    Maria By Callas
    Dec 16,18-20    Venom
    Royal Cinema
    in Little Italy, at 608 College
    One-time Festival Cinemas venue, saved from clubland/condo takeover by Theatre D. Now programmed by Colin Geddes and Katarina Gligorijevic, screenings run the gamut from first run releases of scrappy indie titles to one-off screenings of genre classics.
     
    Upcoming :
    Dec 7-15    Four Films By John Cassavetes
    Dec 13    Balboa Plays The Music Of Rocky
    Dec 15    Balto (1995, USA, D: Simon Wells)   Baby Friendly
    Dec 16    Jingle All The Way (1996, USA, D: Brian Levant)   Mega Fun Movie Explosion!
    Dec 16    Batman Returns (1992, USA, D: Tim Burton)   Screen Queens
    Dec 18    Pin (1988, Canada, D: Sandor Stern)   Cinemacabre
    Dec 19    Three Days Of The Condor (1975, USA, D: Sydney Pollack)   Neon Dreams
    Dec 20    Dial Code Santa Claus (1989, France, D: Rene Manzor)   Laserblast
    Royal Ontario Museum
    At Avenue and Bloor.
    Toronto's largest museum. Home to the Institute For Contemporary Culture and site for cultural events, some of them film related. Downstairs theatre is a medium-sized venue used by a variety of local festivals and occasionally by the Museum itself. New seats mean that legroom is much improved, but a gentle rake ensures that even tall people have trouble reading subtitles during packed screenings. Occasionally, the rumbling of the subway running underneath the theatre can be heard.
    Theatre D
    in the Regent, at 555 Mt. Pleasant (between Davisville and Eglinton)
    Digital post production facility by day, second run cinema by night, occasionally rented for the odd special presentation. The organization is also the new owner of Little Italy's Royal Cinema.
    TIFF Bell Lightbox
    350 King West, at John
    TIFF's new home base. Featuring five screens of varying size plus an exhibition area, restaurants and bars.
     
    Upcoming :
    Oct 7-Dec 23    A Woman Possessed: The Films Of Joan Crawford
    Oct 24-Dec 23    Bergman 100: The Ingmar Bergman Centenary
    Nov 27-Dec 14    Darius Khondji: 21st Century Portraits
    Dec 13-20    Searching For Ingmar Bergman (2018, Germany/France, D: Margarethe Von Trotta)
    Dec 13-20    Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018, Canada, D: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier & Edward Burtynsky)
    Dec 13-20    Roma (2018, Mexico/USA, D: Alfonso Cuaron)
    Dec 13-20    Border (2018, Sweden/Denmark, D: Ali Abbasi)
    Dec 13    Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle (2018, UK/USA, D: Andy Serkis)
    Dec 13-20    At Eternity's Gate (2018, UK/France, D: Julian Schnabel)
    Dec 13    The Wild Pear Tree (2018, Turkey/France/Germany/Bulgaria, D: Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
    Dec 13-20    Burning (2018, South Korea, D: Lee Chang-dong)
    Dec 13    The Conformist (1970, Italy/France/West Germany, D: Bernardo Bertolucci)
    Dec 13    Paid In Full (2002, USA, D: Charles Stone III)
    Dec 14    It's A Wonderful Life (1946, USA, D: Frank Capra)
    Dec 15    Vagabond (1985, France, D: Agnes Varda)
    Dec 15    The Silent Partner (1978, Canada, D: Daryl Duke)   Colin Geddes' Kinovortex
    Dec 16    Spielberg Edition f/ Dj Grump  Soundtrack Sundays
    Dec 18    3 Women (1977, USA, D: Robert Altman)
    Toronto Media Arts Centre
    32 Lisgar
    New arts facility in west downtown. Home to the CFMDC.
    Yonge-Dundas Square
    Downtown, at the corner of Yonge and Dundas
    City square development features outdoor screenings once the warm weather hits.
    Defunct Toronto Film Venues
    AMC Theatres
    Interchange, 30 Interchange Way, at Highways 400 and 7
    The American cinema chain is currently in the process of selling off the few suburban and urban multiplexes it has scattered across the greater Toronto area. The Yonge & Dundas and Winston Churchill locations were sold to Cineplex in July 2012. The Kennedy Commons location appears to have closed some time in August 2012. Was once the only stop for specialized fare in the outer reaches of the city.
    Big Picture Cinema
    1035 Gerrard E, the former Gerrard Theatre
    Leslieville's indie cinema promising art, schlock, indie and foreign fare. Formerly known as The Projection Booth.
    Brunswick Theatre
    296 Brunswick Ave, in the Annex
    Small 100-seat venue in the former Poor Alex Theatre space, screening socially conscious docs on video. Currently on hiatus.
    Double Double Land
    209 Augusta
    Small event space located in Kensington Market.
    Empire Theatres Cineplex eventually swallowed up most of this largely Atlantic Canada-based chain, with some of the remaining theatres, such as Mississauga's Square One, sold off to Landmark.
    Festival Cinemas
  • The Royal, in Little Italy at 608 College
  • The Paradise, at 1006 Bloor W.
  • The Kingsway, in the far west end at 3030 Bloor W.
  • The Fox, in the Beaches at 2236 Queen E.
  • The Revue, in the west end at 400 Roncesvalles
  • As of June 30th 2006, the chain has folded. The Fox continues to run as an independent repertory/second run cinema. The Royal has been purchased by the folks at Theatre D and re-opened in December 2006. The Revue was saved by a community campaign and re-opened in the autumn of 2007.
     
    Before June 30th 2006, the chain was comprised of five locations specializing in discount second run fare with some repertory programming and occasional short runs of specialized titles. A $3 membership kept movie prices down to $6 (less for Tuesdays and matinees) for 6 months. The Royal offered a good-sized screen, decent sound and rocking seats. It showcased the most diverse programming in the chain, spicing up the usual second run fare with culty events such as the bi-weekly Kung Fu Fridays presentation. The Paradise was the place where you might have found that arty flick you missed during its brief run at the Carlton (albeit likely screening for only two nights) in a schedule filled with more traditional second run fare, but the theatre's divy environs were not the most inviting. The Kingsway, Revue and Fox presented more mainstream programming. The Kingsway sported the best screen and sound in the chain. The Fox was a close second. The narrow Revue's screen was on the high side, making sitting in the first five or ten rows ill-advised, and the sound was decidedly muddy.
     
    Final programme: June 2006
    Landmark Theatres
    Square One, in Mississauga
    Largely Western Canada-based chain picked up Mississauga's Square One cinema following Cineplex's aquisition of most of the Empire chain, but closed it in October 2014 when the mall offered to buy out the lease.
    Mediatheque
    In the National Film Board Of Canada at Richmond and John.
    Once the National Film Board Of Canada's public face in Toronto, hosting weekly screenings in association with local festivals and cultural groups in the medium-sized upstairs theatre while offering instant access to a sizeable portion of the NFB back catalogue downstairs via personal viewing stations. Closed in August 2012 due to government budget cuts.
    The Metro
    677 Bloor St W, in Koreatown
    Toronto's last remaining porn theatre has reportedly closed its doors. (An attempt to give the space an indie makeover courtesy the folks behind The Projection Booth appears to have fizzled.)
    Rainbow Cinemas Five locations in the Greater Toronto Area, reviving venues discarded by the major chains with first run films and discount pricing. Now part of the Imagine Cinemas chain.
    Toronto Underground Cinema
    186 Spadina, downstairs, in the long-lost Golden Classics space. Briefly known as the Acacia Centre.
    Upstart rep cinema opened by former Bloor Cinema staffers but recently closed due to issues between the owner of the property and the condominiums above.
    Trash Palace
    Shhh, it's a secret.
    Cult films once unearthed (on 16mm film, not video) in a studio space on Niagara Street, now shuttered due to urban development.
    Out Of Town
    Eastman House
    Rochester, NY
    Bringing solid repertory programming and arthouse releases to upstate New York.
       

    Compiled by Don Marks (contact)

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