You’ll have seen nothing like it until you’re standing outside Roncesvalles’ REVUE CINEMA in Toronto. Staring up at the plain white illuminated sign with big black letters. Below is its old-fashioned box office which only opens 30 minutes before a film begins.
We’ve come to see THE FLORIDA PROJECT which has just left the multiplex screens.
The young woman selling tickets – $12 general admission – from the cramped little booth is a local volunteer. So too the woman behind the refreshment counter. We bought buttered popcorn and two cokes. She hands us back $10 plus coins from a twenty we’d given her.
It was like stepping back into the past visiting the Roncesvalles area: further back for me than Rosanne. This includes its narrow street lined with small stores; streetcars running down the middle so narrow there’s no room to drive past it, with legally parked vehicles in the way.
The theater itself is unique. Dubbed a not-for-profit community cinema, it is truly run by volunteers. Both ticket taker and the young woman at the food concession were cleaning up the main area when we were leaving.
The seats were comfy, padded. Surprisingly enough, should anyone come along your row, there was room enough without you having to stand up to let them by.
The screen itself stretched across the width of the theater. When the lights came on, we noticed two large leather chairs placed in a comfortable setting below the screen, one could only guess, for occasions when guests were there to be interviewed.
The management encourages private parties; parents with small kids screenings are held twice a month. On the schedule are silent movies – right now THE GOLDEN CROWN, Denmark 1929 – is playing on Sunday, 28 January. One of several pianists will provide for free, live, tie-in music.
Those in the Roncesvalles community are encouraged to volunteer on such cinema projects as marketing, fund-raising and programming. Local businesses willingly help to support the cinema.
Author’s comment: It was a totally surprising time visiting the REVUE. It was all but full for the late afternoon performance of THE FLORIDA PROJECT. Other films this month include LADY BIRD; CALL ME BY MY NAME, films that are not outdated. These are mixed in with many reflecting the past.