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Revue Cinema Future Uncertain

Revue Cinema Future Uncertain

In January 2012, I wrote a blog post entitled Movie Theatres of My Life, listing the Toronto area cinemas I grew up attending, followed up a few months later by MORE Movie Theatres of My Life. The common ground of both those pieces is that many of those cinemas no longer exist, with one of my most beloved – the Humber Cinema at Bloor and Jane – facing the wrecking ball in 2022.

It seems like another of Toronto’s historic cinemas appears in danger of becoming part of the city’s forgotten cinema history. The Revue Cinema, a 112-year-old movie house in the city’s west-end neighbourhood of Roncesvalles posted a very unexpected message to social media in the early evening of Thursday, June 27.

As the evening processed, it has since been reported that the Revue Film Society, the community-run board that has been operating the cinema independently since its previous operators Festival Cinemas went out of business in the late 2000s, has been having disagreements with the Revue Cinema’s 96-year-old landlord Danny Mullin. Mullin, a real estate investor who bought the cinema after the Festival Cinemas closure in 2007, was reportedly not happy with the way the cinema is being run. As such, after the current lease expires on Sunday, June 30, Mullin intends to cease control away from the Revue Film Society, threatening to close the theatre if they don’t comply.

Ironically, this mirrors the events over a decade ago, which I dubbed the “The West End Cinema Feud.” Long story short, the former manager of the Humber Cinema, whom I no longer wish to name, was locked out of the cinema by the landlord, who assumed control until the cinema’s closure and eventual demolition. I initially sided with the former manager, until I became more aware of his true colours and the fact that the Humber was probably better off without him.

Sadly, this does not seem to be the case with the Revue Cinema. When Serena Whitney, founder of the popular series Drunken Cinema, took over as the Revue’s Programming Director following the COVID-19 pandemic, the programming evolved to make the Revue more of a repertory cinema than the second-run theatre it was previously. The Revue took on many of the curated series that previously ran at the Royal Cinema before it opened a bottle shop in the lobby and became more of a special event venue.

While it has yet to be confirmed or denied, I guess that one catalyst for the dispute between the Royal Film Society and Danny Mullin is the transition from a second-run cinema, charging a discounted rate for new release films months after their general release, to that of a repertory cinema with a tiered ticketing system ranging from $14-$18 for tickets, with members getting a discounted rate. It is for this reason that I haven’t gone to see films at the Revue as much as I would like to. However, I did decide to get a ticket to see Jaws at the cinema on Sunday night, since it could very well be the final film that screens at the Revue Cinema in its current form.

Make Your Voice Heard and Sign the Petition to Save the Revue Cinema

Revue Cinema 1935
Revue Cinema in 1935
This post was proofread by Grammarly 

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