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The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema gets its new marquee

Posted by Derek Flack / April 25, 2012

Bloor Hot Docs CinemaThe work that Hariri Pontarini Architects have done in restoring the Bloor Cinema — now known as the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema — was already impressive, but today the project feels almost complete with the installation of the pièce de résistance: a deco-inspired marquee that reaffirms the theatre's importance at Bathurst and Bloor.

Bloor Hot Docs CinemaThe new marquee isn't ornate by any stretch, but its gently curved lines and pop-out font are an appropriate gesture to cinema's glory days and to the rich history of the venue in question. The new ownership of the Bloor have taken numerous steps to highlight its rep-house history as part of the restoration effort — which draws it in direct contrast with the ultra modern stylings of the TIFF Lightbox — and the new signage really drives the point home.

Now we just can't wait to see what it looks like at night.

Additional photos:

Bloor Hot Docs TheatreToday

Bloor Cinema HistoryMidtown Theatre, 1941 via Toronto Archives

Bloor Cinema HistoryLate 1950s, via Silent Toronto

Bloor Cinema HistoryMidtown Theatre, 1945 via Bloor Hot Docs

Contemporary photos by Mariam Matti



Looks great! But ... / April 25, 2012 at 02:55 pm
... maybe the front of the building could get a bit of a spit and polish? The spiffy new sign makes it look extra dingy. A paint job or at least a good cleaning is all it would take.
Pd replying to a comment from Looks great! But ... / April 25, 2012 at 03:04 pm
Agreed. But still.. great sign. Hoping it's a boost to that stretch of street. The whole block is looking a bit dingy lately.
Liiiiiiiiiights / April 25, 2012 at 03:09 pm
There just needs to be lights. More lighting. Just a crazy amount of lightbulbs at the front and it will be spectacular. Just an insane amount of light coming from the front. More lights.
Camera Action replying to a comment from Liiiiiiiiiights / April 25, 2012 at 03:16 pm
Yes! More lights.
yqa / April 25, 2012 at 03:22 pm
...and less Lebanese fare.
Lighter replying to a comment from Liiiiiiiiiights / April 25, 2012 at 03:25 pm
Kat / April 25, 2012 at 03:29 pm
I definitely agree. The building could use a paint job. Then it would be just fab.
Greg Hannah / April 25, 2012 at 03:30 pm
The brick on the building facing Bloor should have been sandblasted or acid washed to bring back the yellow in the brick. Such a shame. And yes, more lights - not less! Lighting creates excitement and a sense of being somewhere special (look no further than Honest Ed's, kitty corner to here!).
matts replying to a comment from Pd / April 25, 2012 at 03:47 pm
And it won't get much better - the construction to the left of the theatre is Dolarama...
Todd Toronto / April 25, 2012 at 03:55 pm
It's as if the back of the building is facing Bloor.

How did I not notice that before?
piero / April 25, 2012 at 04:29 pm
Very slick. Too bad the company washing the facade bricks did a horrible job. Watched them over the weekend and the bricks aren't cleaner as a result. They should have been sandblaster or sprayed with cleaning compounds instead of somewhat pressurized water.
Ratpick / April 25, 2012 at 04:36 pm
Indeed. The bricks need a scrubbing. You can see the ghosts of those two old signs. And the tagging looks awful.

Where's Rob Ford with his pressure washer?
Alex replying to a comment from matts / April 25, 2012 at 04:49 pm
I love Dollarama! They have the most useful and cool things that nobody else sells and I cannot understand why. Plus they have weird crazy stuff that is just funny (e.g. anything in the toy section, where else can you buy a foam sword and axe?). I wish a dollarama would move in near me, I always gotta go all the way to 777 Bay to find one now.
scott d replying to a comment from piero / April 25, 2012 at 05:25 pm
sandblasting or using chemicals can damage the outer face of bricks making them absorb water which is a bad thing.
handfed / April 25, 2012 at 05:42 pm
Alex, if you like Dollarama so much, why not just move to mainland China -- that's where all that crap comes from, and there's much more of it!
RonaldP / April 25, 2012 at 09:13 pm
There are more lights to come. Wait til you see it Thursday night!
rebelscum / April 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm
Oh yeah, a Dollarama really classes up the joint 8/

+1 for more lights. This sign is aggressively underwhelming and uninspired (A crooked red substrate? You must be really good at graphic design), but then, all of Toronto's culture pockets are becoming aggressively underwhelming and uninspired. Has everyone seen what became of Gorilla Monsoon?
robb. / April 26, 2012 at 08:27 am
What's the deal with 'more lights, more lights'. What a waste. Sandblasting or acid washing the bricks? Come on. Again; what a waste. Terrible ideas. Not everything in our city has to look spit polished and brand new. Enough with the lights and waste. How about just a nice classy sign, such as the one that was just put up. People are never happy. You want bright and flashy and new? Move to the burbs and hang out at the big box shops.

It looks fantastic!
Louise / April 26, 2012 at 09:00 am
Everyone that is so concerned about more bright lights, should really check out Peace Out during Hot Docs: http://www.hotdocs.ca//film/title/peace_out

Farley B / April 26, 2012 at 09:12 am
The sign looks beautiful, and the most important part is that it is being mounted on a lovingly restored heritage building in this fine city. Heritage building means old...not shiny and new. Frankly, I LOVE the old school look of the brick. Yay for the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema!!!
I like old, but ... / April 26, 2012 at 09:31 am
... there's a difference between old and dirty and the sign just exacerbates that. I don't expect a decades-old heritage building to look pristine and brand new, but a couple of coats of water resistant paint would be affordable, easy to do, would protect the bricks, and would look 10000 times better.
mezimeen / April 26, 2012 at 11:18 am
Robb: There's a difference between preservation and not giving a damn. In your opinion any old building should be left to rot and look 'old. Just stop it because it's a ridiculous stance.
Just clean the brick. Don't paint it, that's the easy way out. Re-pointing/fixing the facade and brick work will do wonders. The sign looks a little too new looking like that....
robb. / April 26, 2012 at 11:58 am
Thanks mezimeen for telling me what my very own opinion is. Without people like you helping me think and formulating my opinions, I would probably perish quite rapidly.

Nobody said any old building should be left to rot. In your opinion...the sign looks too new, maybe they should dirty it up a bit.

Please stop assuming that the work there is done. Re-read the article, it indicates otherwise. Stay tuned. Maybe there are more surprises in store, as these projects take time and money.
In the meantime, feel free to donate to the cause, or simply, attend some films.

The restoration work thus far is beautiful and I congratulate all of those involved. Keep up the good work!

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