movie theatres toronto

The best and worst movie theatres in Toronto

Movie theatres in Toronto come in all shapes and sizes, from independent cinemas to colossal big-screen chains. It can be important to identify some of your favourites and ones to avoid, as it can actually majorly affect your viewing experience.

Here are my picks for some of the best and worst movie theatres in Toronto.

Best
Paradise Theatre

Not only does this freshly revamped Bloorcourt theatre — that kept its Art Deco charm — show movies like classics and auteur films, they also host events based around music and comedy.

Plus, there's a full-on restaurant on site, so you don't even have to leave the premises to get a bite to eat.

Bloor Hot Docs

Located in the Annex, this theatre also got a new makeover in recent years. They show documentary films and new cinema, and are quietly underrated quality-wise.

Also, if you cut your film buff teeth going to Rocky Horror at the old Bloor Cinema version of this place, you'll be pleased to know it's still around even if it's in a different form.

Revue

This charming Roncesvalles indie cinema is beloved by people in the community and beyond, and has a rich historic past. They show films that run the gamut from cartoons to Oscar noms, and they're home to lots of fun creative programming like series, events and festivals.

Fox Theatre

The Beaches is where to find this old theatre that's almost worth a visit for the old school look of the marquee alone. At over 100 years old, they've even suspected they're haunted, but that doesn't mean you can't still see the newest releases here. Their space can also be rented for private events.

Imagine Cinemas Market Square

The Front location of this independent chain of cinemas is a hidden gem. A go-to for film fans, they show all the latest new movies. It's centrally located near lots of businesses and restaurants so it's easy to get to, but it's also near a laneway with a park so it feels semi-hidden.

Worst
Kingsway Theatre

Near Royal York subway station, this theatre has a long history and has been enjoyed by many over the years, but it gives off a weird vibe, saying on their site they have no affiliation with "phishing extortionist transnational sites" like Google or Yelp.

It's a little sketchy when you visit in person, too, and has garnered lots of one-star reviews.

Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas

Flocks of shoppers in this area means getting into the actual theatres at this Yonge and Dundas cinema can feel like swimming upstream.

Since it's so popular and central, once you get in there, there can be a lot of loud groups chatting, and you're probably going to have to forget about parking and take the subway to nearby (and kinda gross) Dundas station.

Cineplex Cinemas Varsity and VIP

Though this theatre near Bay and Bloor has had a decent reputation and offered VIP, some people actually find the VIP screens too small. It's also not super convenient that it's located in the Manulife Centre all the way up on the top floor.

Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Eglinton

This theatre being located at what for a long time has been Toronto's nightmare intersection is enough of a reason to avoid it, but it's also a bit uncomfortable and unclean.

Their VIP theatres don't have any special features like AVX, IMAX or 3D, and some people have noted a VIP screen has been damaged. 

Cineplex Cinemas Yorkdale

This location of Silvercity is slowly aging, so the seats can be a bit uncomfortable, and it's relatively far flung from the city core.

If you're driving, you're going to have to allot some extra time to park in the busy mall lot, and the fact that this theatre is in a shopping centre means there can be lots of young people acting a little rowdy.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim at Paradise Theatre


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