Jan 14


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  Other films this month include LADY BIRD; CALL ME BY MY NAME, films that are not outdated.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.

Posted on January 14th, 2018 by Clarke
Jan 7


It’s not going to be easy. Take us. We started off with the new shower downstairs with the solid glass sides. Then temperatures dropped to the -20C plus. The pipes to it froze. Hot and cold. We decided not to fret. We have an old-fashioned tub with a slanted back where you stretch out and relax.

Looking back at ’17, it didn’t turn out as many of us hoped. Take Trump arriving at the White House. Or North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un musing about dropping a nuclear bomb on those who piss him off.

Trusted news organizations are being labeled liars producing fake news; Tim Hortons family of one of the original co-owners, cutting meal-time pay to employees because the provincial government raises labor pay to $14 from $11:40. When those on lower pay scales can’t get by without taking on other jobs as well.

It bothers me seeing images of the homeless lying in sleeping bags on our downtown streets. No sleeping bag I know can keep out the cold below zero degrees. What about -20C? We all feel uncomfortable when, for whatever reason, we can’t shake a chill that begins down our backs.

Think of clothes hanging in our closets or in dresser drawers that never see the light of day. They’ll never fit you; not that you’d want to wear them again anyway. I’m guilty of that. Here’s what Rosanne and I have decided.

Her mantra: “ditch clothes you haven’t worn for a year”. I’d probably go along with not in 10 years. Clothes of mine have been around for much longer than that. She points to four Levi denim  jackets and jeans hanging around in guest room closet.

We boiled it down to this: We give to the homeless, the less fortunate what we really don’t wear anymore. It shouldn’t be difficult to find some local group handling used clothing. And we’ll stay away from those containers outside the malls asking for clothes; then selling them for a profit.

I’d like to bump into Roger Boyd in Hamilton, Ontario, who wanted to do something for the homeless. He began driving around the city streets at night offering them homemade soup.

Now, with help from neighbors and volunteers he’s out three nights supplying food, clothing; even new boots-to-order. At last count, he’s given away 300 new winter coats, apart from sleeping bags.

Author’s comment: Maybe we could start a campaign for others to rid their closets, dressers, of unwanted clothes. What if this idea went viral across the country? I’d be pleased if it only spread around our neighborhood.

Posted on January 7th, 2018 by Clarke