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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Events Guide: lecture and film screening on the history of Toronto’s movie theatres

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WHAT: “Toronto Movie Theatres: Palaces for the People,” lecture by Paul Moore; followed by screening of the documentary, Dreamland: A History of Early Canadian Movies
WHEN: Saturday, August 22, 4pm
WHERE: Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave
HOW MUCH: $5 suggested donation
WEBSITE:, Revue Cinema

Moore is the author of Now Playing: Early Moviegoing and the Regulation of Fun, a definitive study of Toronto cinemas and the emerging mass audience. With the help of anecdotes and archival photos, Moore will reveal the history of local theatre chains, architects and explain how neighbourhood cinemas played a vital role in the city’s urban development.

Following the lecture will be a screening of the National Film Board’s seldom-seen documentary, Dreamland: A History of Early Canadian Movies. Dreamland highlights the efforts of Canadian filmmakers prior to the creation of the National Film Board. It also features images of early Toronto cinemas, footage from the Great Toronto Fire of 1904, as well as interviews with theatre impresarios such as Nat Taylor, the founder of 20th Century Theatres and Cineplex Odeon.

Regrettably, most of the city’s old cinemas have disappeared. This lecture — let’s just call it an afternoon at the movies — aims to pay them tribute, so what better place to marvel at the nostalgia at hand than at the Revue, the city’s oldest surviving cinema!”

Photo by Kevin Steele


One comment

  1. I strongly recommend this site if you want to spend some time losing yourself in the architecture and urban fabric of old movie theatres. They have 344 theatres listed for Ontario, some with historical photos.