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Film

Save Bloorcourt's Paradise!

Posted by Debbie Pacheco / March 13, 2009

paradise theatre bloorcourt torontoBloorcourt residents packed the Storefront last night to discuss reopening the Paradise Theatre.

Instead of a movie title, the marquee has advertised the cinema's "for lease" status since 2006. It's one of several repertory cinemas in Toronto that closed that year.

Joe Jacobs, a local and the main organizer of the meeting, wants to revitalize the space as a non-profit community arts organization. He was tired of passing-bye the Paradise and wondering why it is still empty.

20090313_paradisetheatre02.jpgSome digging with friends Jordan Lewis and Sarah Latha-Elliott included a tour of the building and initial discussions with the landlord. They also got verbal support from the local BIA and city councilor Adam Giambrone and some advice from the Revue Cinema. The Revue is one of the theatres that also closed in 2006. It was up for sale before a local couple bought the theatre and let a community organization run it.

Though funding was a big issue during the meeting, Jacobs is optimistic the Bloorcourt cinema can also be saved. He wants to try anyway. The fifty or so residents that sat and stood around the room want to try too. They had plenty of ideas on what the new Paradise could be. They ran the gamut from remaining a traditional theatre, to reviving vaudeville.

I live in Bloorcourt and remember the collective groan when it closed. Before the meeting started, a group of us lamented the convenience of a movie theatre steps from our homes.

If the room's enthusiasm and comments on their Facebook page are any indication, it won't be long before I can head out the door again five minutes before a show starts.

Discussion

17 Comments

Parkdalian / March 13, 2009 at 09:33 am
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Great work by all in this community. All efforts should be put in reviving this theatre. Living in the Ronscenvalles area, i know what it's like to have a community theatre revitalized. It brings great joy to have movies, lectures, public events and kid shows happen here. This not only brings people closer together, but saves everyone in the area a little on gas or transit. It's great!

Though i'm wondering where the initial finansing will come from for the Paradise. A local couple(*thank you so much!) bought the Revue and gave it to the community. Who, with good intentions, will buy the Paradise?
Tron / March 13, 2009 at 10:00 am
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Surprisingly this isn't the first time a hipster "protested" the "commercialization" that comes out of economic necessity.

I vote turning it into a Walmart. Then not only can it offer employment, but also take down the thousands of other hipster hangouts in a 10 mile radius.

Then all of you can come together and decide how to grab other people's paid-for property and how coerce them into inferior decisions that you personally didn't pay the price for
Parkdalian / March 13, 2009 at 10:17 am
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Will people stop insinuating i'm a hipster!(haha) I have a JOB and go to bed at 10 every NIGHT for cripes sake!

Tron: I would have accepted your critisism kindly if you hadn't insulted me, but you leave me no choice.

A) I'm not "protesting" anything. I'm simply saying what i want the place to turn into(*is this not a free-speech blog, idiot?) Just like I wouldn't insult you for saying you wanted it to turn the Paradise into a Walmart. Although, you've just witnessed my one of few insults on blogs, so consider yourself "special".

And B) You're right, i "shouldn't" have a say in what you do with your neighbourhood. I don't contribute to it.

So please keep your sarcasm to yourself and be respectful of other peoples opinions. Otherwise, it could get ugly here.



Jerrold replying to a comment from Parkdalian / March 13, 2009 at 10:33 am
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"<i>Will people stop insinuating i'm a hipster!(haha) I have a JOB and go to bed at 10 every NIGHT for cripes sake! </i>

LOL. Comment of the day! :)
trish / March 13, 2009 at 10:41 am
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Oh yeah nothing saves a community like a Wal-Mart ... that is if you don't care about how they treat their employees, their lack of respect for minorities, their fear of unions and their charming way of muscling out all the other shops in the area which although may be HIPSTER hangouts atleast there are businesses there instead of FOR LEASE signs on every window ... yeah ... your neighbourhood needs a Wal-Mart ... yep Wal-Mart will be the answer to all of your prayers
Keys open doors / March 13, 2009 at 11:54 am
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Well put Trish.
onegirl replying to a comment from trish / March 13, 2009 at 01:33 pm
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AND we already have a Wal-Mart around the corner.
matt / March 13, 2009 at 03:31 pm
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i think his wal mart comment was sarcastic and bitter, but not meant to be taken seriously.

was there any talk of converting the paradise into a live music venue/performance space of any kind a la the music hall over on the danforth?

Kevin / March 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm
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I have to say, as a past patron of the Paradise, and a lover of art house cinema, and the old movie palaces.....

This was the one Festival theatre that I didn't miss.

It was never grand, at the best of times. It is not by any measure historical or an architectural marvel.

I miss the Roxy much more (in the east end); and would love to see the Metro Cinema restored (in Koreatown) or (The Strand at Dundas & Spadina) or please, anyone, bring back the Eglinton!!!!

The Paradise...ho hum.

I hate to say that....its just, on the list of venues that could contribute to the City's culture, this one barely ranks.

(though bitter or otherwise, if anyone suggests turning this into a Walmart, they should face serious re probation!)
harryco / March 14, 2009 at 12:27 am
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Kevin, this is not about the beauty of the cinema's architecture it's about creating a space for community. Film, live music, theatre, dance, readings, lectures, town hall/ political meetings etc. Hopefully this organization will make an effort to include all members of the community, and yes, that includes hipsters. Think of an active neighbourhood auditorium where the cultural diversity of the community can be shared and explored.
It would be a shame to open the Paradise again just to show movies.
opera tor / March 30, 2009 at 05:20 am
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how much is the rent asked by the landlord?

how much is the building listed for?
Richard / August 6, 2009 at 07:31 pm
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what would it take to the cinema arrive back..I am eager and live
in the neighbourhood..please reply if you can thanks
Jay / August 9, 2009 at 02:25 pm
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It's been a few months since this was discussed anywhere. I'm getting the feeling the idea has fallen apart.
Kelee / September 17, 2009 at 05:00 pm
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Actually, I've been a busy little bee regarding the theater...
Richard / October 18, 2009 at 03:26 pm
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halloween is here..put some horror movies there
would be great if you did ..just one night
living in this village is great like to spruce it up a little
we have a deal or what ??
richard / October 23, 2009 at 07:30 pm
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be good for the opening for halloween.just to add..would be great for time and showing
the rainbow is availble but you have to get early seats, which when you go to a private theatre is mostly better and greater to do to a plivilge movies that we have be accomonited too

lets show our support.
your sincerly
richard
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If i was to go aand figure out which department has X and then go into
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