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The Metro Theatre closes its doors for good

Posted by Chris Bateman / December 20, 2013

Metro Theatre ClosedThe Metro Theatre on Bloor St. West looks like it has shown its last porno film. A notice appeared in the window of the Koreatown movie house this week announcing it had "closed for good." According to Jonathan Hlibka, who was helping the current owner book movies and shows, the shutdown was entirely planned.

"I think right now they're looking at what their strategy is to actually exit the property," he says. "In the next couple of weeks [the owner] will come back and he will have a statement or he will let people know exactly what's happening and what they're going to be doing with it."

The theatre announced it would be expanding on its porn repertoire last year with the addition of art house, independent, and foreign movies in the evenings. The carpets and seat covers were replaced at the same time, management was careful to note.

Current owner Kar Green, who also goes by Karim Hirji, has been trying to sell the theatre for roughly a decade. CBC News reported the Bloor St. West building was on the market for $3.8 million in 2012, but so far no-one has come up with the money.

Metro Theatre Closed"His goal was always to be out of there by January next year," Hlibka says. It's not clear what Green has planned beyond the new year.

The art deco Metro Theatre opened in 1939, specializing in B-movies and other alternative films. It flirted with a brief mainstream period in the 1950s before returning to bawdy flicks like The Cheaters, The Love Pill, and The 1001 Perversions of Felicia under independent ownership in the 1980s and beyond.

Hlibka, meanwhile, says he will be focusing on events at his own Big Picture Cinema - formerly the Projection Booth Theatre - on Gerrard St. East after the demise of the Metro.

Are you sad to see Metro Theatre close? What do you think could replace the historic movie house?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.



Jacques Strappe / December 20, 2013 at 09:05 am
now where am I gonna watch porn, this is outrages.
Joe Martin / December 20, 2013 at 09:18 am
Maybe it could become another live venue, looks gorgeous inside and since it was recently updated, why not?
Don / December 20, 2013 at 09:31 am
Can't imagine all the dried jiz on the seats!
Arch Stanton / December 20, 2013 at 09:49 am
If these balls could talk.
Tony / December 20, 2013 at 11:01 am
How much for a row of seats?
burgs / December 20, 2013 at 11:15 am
I went here for a concert a couple years ago. The place did actually smell like a locker room. There was a lot of moisture in the air.
Sam replying to a comment from Arch Stanton / December 20, 2013 at 11:18 am
The Metro has hosted live theatre before - I never realized it was built in the 30s... does it qualify for preservation?

"If these balls could talk..." Priceless.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Sam / December 20, 2013 at 03:15 pm
If it is, it should be preserved, and hopefully a buyer can be found-but not to show porn, that was completely stupid and idiotic in an age where most porn is viewed on home video.
Canaduh / December 20, 2013 at 05:13 pm
I think some of those seats are pregnant!
Graeme / December 20, 2013 at 09:21 pm
It should be preserved. Used only for movies/live events. I think that with the right owners it would be excellent for that.

Though it probably does need some work. It definitely has that smell of old moisture.
Projection Booth / December 21, 2013 at 11:34 am
Hlibka was not booking for the venue at least not since he was counter sued by Hirji (or so we were told) but we do admire the way Hlibka stepped up to volunteer himself as spokesman and plug his own lawsuit plagued and highly questionable venue.
picard102 replying to a comment from Projection Booth / December 21, 2013 at 03:08 pm
What about it was highly questionable?
J Lyons / December 21, 2013 at 03:37 pm
There is so much porn on the the net you dummies!
humid outside / December 21, 2013 at 04:51 pm
How much for the reserved Rob Ford/Doug Ford seats with the bronze name tags? The Dave/Shirley seat?
all dressed up / December 22, 2013 at 12:03 am
Based on what I see here it closed on Friday Dec 21, 2013. I was there that day in the evening, I was shocked that it was closed. It was one of the very few places I could go and wear a minidress or occasionally walk around in just my bra and panties. I've had more good times there than I can remember. I hope it comes back, I'll miss it so much.
AD / December 24, 2013 at 01:45 pm
The venue could have been something great with the right owners- if they had the money to put in new seating and better wiring and ventilation, as well as a bigger bathroom and a proper backstage. The decor is fabulous and kitschy and it's a great location.

The problem is no one cared enough to clean up the place and turn it into a viable place to hold live events or non-porn movie screenings. It's a smelly, dirty, dingy place that for some reason clung to its old business model even after home video and the wonders of the internet. I'm sad for the loss of its potential but not for what it was. The camp value of that place does not outweigh how gross it is.
Spunkmaster Theatre! / January 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm
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