My Visit to the Toronto Underground Cinema

For a long time I have been looking for an excuse to head to the Toronto Underground Cinema, the newish repertory cinema in downtown Toronto that specializes in genre and cult films.

The perfect opportunity came last night as the theatre celebrated its first anniversary.  As such, admission was free as it showed a double bill of Clue and Jurassic Park.

I was about an hour and forty-five minutes early when I arrived downtown and I decided to scout out the theatre before going to get something to eat.  I had a bit of difficulty finding the cinema, which is in a very inconspicuous area.  If you didn`t know where to look, it would be next to impossible to find the cinema from the street.  The cinema is in the back of a Chinese mall at the location of the old “Golden Classics” theatre (the sign for which is still hanging).

After I located the theatre, I left to get food.  When I came back, a few people have already started lining up for the screening.  I waited in line for about half an hour before being let into the theatre.  I thought the inside of the Toronto Underground was comparable to the Bloor Cinema, expect that it was much smaller (the capacity is about 700).

Following a bit of preshow trivia, the film started.  A nice little touch that I enjoyed was the inclusion of classic film trailers, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Rocketeer, and Star Wars: The Special Edition.  I also have to say that the crowd atmosphere was great, with the crowd applauding and laughing at many times throughout the night.

The film I saw was Clue, the 1985 adaptation of the popular board game.  I had only previously seen the film on TV or video, so it was great having the chance to see it on the big screen.

Seeing the film with a crowd helped to me realize how laugh-out-loud funny the film is, especially the show-stealing performance by Tim Curry as Wadsworth the Butler.  In addition, seeing the film theatrically made for a more authentic experience, since only one of the film`s three endings were shown.  Of course the film went with the easiest pick (Ending A), but it was still interesting seeing the film under this context.

Sadly, I couldn`t stay for Jurassic Park, however I was impressed enough with the theatre that I can say that I will definitely be returning.

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).