TORONTO IS LADEN DOWN WHEN IT COMES TO CINEMAS AND NEIGHBOURHOODS. THERE ARE PLENTY OF BOTH.

The Paradise Theatre is in comeback mode after near demolition in 2007.  As time passed the exterior was plastered with tags and graffiti – not a pleasant sight for those walking by 1006 Bloor Street West.  . The finished building should be fully functional by 2019. The 218 seats (formerly 400) will hopefully fill up with live music, talk series, comedy, programming for kids, and other events – along of course with feature movies and series. The Grand Cinema – one of Canada’s oldest, dating back to 1911, re-opened at 1035 Gerrard Street East.  There are now lineups. (I’ve always believed that the best neighbourhoods have movie cinemas in them.) This one, in Toronto’s East End, was renamed The Grand Gerrard – the latest in a series, including the Bonita, the Athenium, the Sri Lakshmi, the Gerrard, the Wellington, and the Projection Booth. Robinson’s Musee  – a museum-turned theatre – was the first to screen a motion picture in Toronto on August 31st, 1896. Gutted by fire a year later, it lead to the vaudeville stage by the giant HIPPODROM in Toronto. Shea’s Hippodrome. Bay St., w. side, s. of Albert Street in TORONTO – was gutted by fire a year later, and then lead to the vaudeville stage by The Shea Amusement Company and eventually office space. The Crest will always be a part of Toronto’s Theatrical History. Opened in 1927 as The Belsize, it became The Crest in 1953, and in 1971 The Regent. The Crest Theatre Company was founded and a year later opened its first eleven-play season. This was the beginning of indigenous, commercial theatre in Toronto. Up until then there had been mostly touring productions from the West.