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Royal Reopening

It was a horrible day in Toronto when we learned we'd potentially be losing three of our historic rep theatres. That was back in June. I'm still lamenting the day the Runnymede Theatre became a Chapters bookstore and that was 8 years ago. It could've been worse. Though it's not a theatre anymore, it still hangs onto some of the same old school charm it had back in the day when I had a date with my first teen crush there. Some of the cinema seating remains too, for those who want to cozy up with a book and forego the awkward handholding.

My memories of the Uptown theatre were demolished three years back and I pass The Revue on Roncesvalles wondering when someone will see its potential and bring it back to life. Local businesses and residents campaigned, raising $30,000 to save it from an unknown fate, but it still needs a buyer with a big heart. Further down Ronces, The Brighton Theatre became a large convenience store years ago, but its classic signage was just recently removed.

Despite some of the losses and some of the change, there is good news on the street. The Royal on College reopened Friday with a door toward the future of cinema. It'll feature high-definition projection, top-notch sound systems and Avid editing facilities. Theatre D Digital, a Toronto post-house credited with mixing Rub & Tug and Phil the Alien, has taken over the property with the intention of restoring the theatre to its former glory days, back when they called it the Pylon. They'll cut and mix projects in one of four suites during daytime hours and feature Canadian and International film on screen in the evenings.

(Image: o.brien)


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