movie theatre toronto

The Best Place to Watch a Film in Toronto

The best place to watch a film in Toronto is not your couch. Get out of the house! From our city's nostalgic rep cinemas to mainstream movie theatres, Toronto is blessed with a diverse array of options for soaking up the delights of the silver screen.

Here are the best places to watch a film in Toronto.

TIFF Bell Lightbox
The ultimate downtown theatre, the Lightbox rarely has gaggles of teens out for a night without supervision. You won't hear constant chatter, snapchat noises or have food dumped down your back. The seats are extremely comfortable, and the sound and projection quality is top notch.

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
There's a bar at this theatre, and you can drink in your seat. I mean, they also play amazing documentary films year round, host special showcases and talks as well as host a little film festival called Hot Docs, but ultimately, the two-level theatre is a great place to get a glass of wine before being visually educated.

Varsity Cinemas
This Yorkville-area theatre gets very busy, very fast. But that's because it's often the only place showing a certain film in town. There's a VIP theatre with the most spacious seating I've ever experienced, and the cinema is located inside a mall, so there's easy opportunity for pre or post hangouts.

Scotiabank Theatre
When it comes to big, blockbuster nights out downtown, Scotiabank is the one. It's in the middle of all the action, there's an Imax Screen, six 3D screens, and one UltraAVX theatre, which I still don't understand. There are 14 screens in total, most of the big box office draws and the crowds come with them.

The Revue
If you're going to support one cinema for its efforts to keep things local, buy a ticket at the Revue. Steps away from two streetcar stops and surrounded by great bars and restaurants, this theatre is completely independent. The programming is super interesting and sometimes they serve beer.

Royal Cinema
This College Street staple is king/queen of second-run, indie house classic cinema. For those films you've always wanted to see on a big screen, but never got the chance, this is the spot. Many a film festival, performance and private event happen in this updated, landmark theatre.

Carlton Cinema
Cheap Tuesdays at Carlton Cinema are literally still $5. That's crazy! They're usually pretty great films playing and it's just outside the Yonge/College subway stop.

Beaches Cinema
A great big theatre for east siders, the Beaches cinema appropriately has a great party room for kids. It usually plays the latest and greatest and is lucky enough to be steps away from Woodbine park if you want to hang out and talk after the film.

The Fox
What the Revue is to the west side crowd, the Fox is to the east. Opened in 1914, it's the longest running cinema in Canada. They have a mix of independent and second-run films, but tend to stick to quality stuff.

The Kingsway
This updated 1939 theatre on Bloor West shows classics, foreign films and sometimes something super popular. This is the place to go if you want to feel like you're going back in time. Great programming and snacks.

Cineplex Queensway
Friends of mine who have a car exclusively go to this theatre out on the Queensway because the crowds aren't as crazy, movies don't sell out as quickly, and all the big guns are shown. They have 20 screens!

Regent Theatre
Find this theatre from the 1920s with renovated seating screening independent and foreign films on Mount Pleasant Rd. It's a fun vintage spot to stop in a catch a movie for midtowners or anyone looking to soak up some Toronto cinema history.

Photo of the Revue Cinema by Vic Gedris.


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