Hot Docs takes over the Bloor Cinema
The TIFF Lightbox just got a little bit of competition. Hot Docs has entered into a joint venture agreement with Blue Ice Film that will see it "assume responsibility for managing and programming the Bloor Cinema year round, in addition to utilizing the venue for its annual Festival and monthly Doc Soup screening series."
Although today's announcement promises significant changes at the Bloor, it should come as good news for those invested in keeping Toronto's rep cinema culture alive. "It's a dream come true," said Carm Bordonaro, the now former owner of the Bloor Cinema in a press release. "The business model has completely changed and we need visionary investors and organizations like Hot Docs to protect these neighbourhood cinemas. I want to thank the community and our avid supporters who have kept the Bloor alive all these years."
Already a home to Hot Docs for the last 12 years, the theatre will feature documentary films more prominently than before. Other film fests like the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, the After Dark Film Festival and the Images Festival are, however, also expected to return to the Bloor post-renovations.
As far as improvements to the space go, today's announcement reveals that the "renovations will see upgrades to the cinema's technical equipment and sound system, audience seating, faรงade and lobby areas." There will also be opportunity to provide feedback regarding the plans for the cinema via industry stakeholder and community consultations (if interested, inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org).
"It's a remarkable opportunity, and we are ready for the challenge," said Hot Docs Executive Director Chris McDonald. "The Bloor Cinema has been a cherished home to Hot Docs for the past 12 years and we're excited to be a part of the revitalization of this much-loved venue. It's fantastic for Hot Docs, film lovers and the entire neighbourhood, which will continue to enjoy its own independent film house."
The Bloor Cinema is expected to re-open in the fall.
Photo by brianstdenis in the blogTO Flickr pool.
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