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Revue Cinema Injunction

Revue Cinema Wins Injunction Against Landlord

One day after it looked like this would be the final weekend in operation for the Revue Cinema, the Revue Film Society headed by Grant Oyston received an injunction from the Ontario Superior Court preventing their landlord Daniel Mullin from evicting the society from the premises on Monday, July 1. The landlords are prevented from interfering with the business of the cinema until the case can go to trial. This, at least for now, has prevented the Revue from joining Toronto’s vast cinema graveyard, including most of the theatres I grew up attending.

It has been a very eventful 24 hours, which revealed a lot of the behind-the-scenes operations of Revue Cinema. Speaking via e-mail to Grant Oyston, I learned that the Revue has been trying to negotiate a new 5-year lease since last fall and that a new lease was required to do proposed restorations to the building, including repairing the facade. Daniel Mullin was asking for a 50% rent increase but refused to accept the Revue Film Society’s cheques. However, as the Revue Film Society owns the digital projector, point-of-sale systems, and much of the other necessary technical equipment, Mullin would just be left with an empty shell of a theatre if he was allowed to go through with the eviction.

Daniel and Letty Mullin at the Revue Cinema, June 2007 - Photo: ASHLEY HUTCHESON / TORONTO STAR
Daniel and Letty Mullin at the Revue Cinema, June 2007 – Photo: ASHLEY HUTCHESON / TORONTO STAR

In an ironic twist, the saga of the last couple of days resulted in a June 2007 Toronto Star article surfacing, reporting on 79-year-old Daniel Mullin’s purchase of the Revue. At this time, Mullin was being praised as the hero who saved the Revue from permanent closure after its previous owner, the independent Festival Cinemas chain, went out of business following the death of owner Peter McQuillan. Seventeen years later, 96-year-old Mullin is now being portrayed as a greedy landlord wanting to get rid of the Revue Film Society and turn the Revue Cinema into a privately run for-profit cinema. This ends up bringing to life this famous quote from the film The Dark Knight:

You Either Die a Hero or Live Long Enough to See Yourself Become the Villain

Harvey Dent

Another thing that the last couple of days have brought to light is how willing Toronto’s film community is to band together to save its cinema history. As of this writing, the Change.org petition to save the Revue Cinema has over 15,000 signatures. With the war far from over, at least the Revue can find solace in the fact that it has a lot of soldiers for the battles ahead.

This post was proofread by Grammarly 
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