Playing the Indian Card

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Wonderful Things #3: Repertory Cinemas

Interior of the Revue, Toronto.

When I was living in Toronto in the Eighties, absolutely the best thing about the city, bar nothing, was the Festival chain of rep movie houses. It is wonderful to have the chance to see an older, classic, or art film—something really worth seeing, not just the latest car chase or FX fest—in proper proportions on a big screen. All the better that they are actually cheaper than the first-run Hollywood stuff. I’m sick to death of standard Hollywood movies. And all the better when the venue is a preserved neighbourhood theatre from the golden age, with all the felt and filigree—a real dream palace, a place entirely separate from the outside world. Toronto’s Festival chain is sadly gone, but repertory cinemas can still be found in many larger cities. The Bloor, the Fox, and the Revue apparently still operate in the Big Maple. Ottawa, at least, also has them.

The Bloor, Toronto.

Rep cinemas apparently struggle to make money. But I can see an argument for public subsidy--it is the same argument as the one for public libraries.

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