Toronto’s Carlton Cinema to Reopen

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Last year, Torontonians were disappointed when Carlton cinema was shuttered by parent company Cineplex Odeon. Perhaps the closing wasn’t entirely unsurprising – the Carlton was run-down, sight lines were poor, and the equipment was rather dated. However, many people considered it a shame that Cineplex didn’t invest some money into refurbishing the Carlton, given its unique programming replete with foreign language films, festival hits, and old classics. Thankfully, Edmonton-based Magic Lantern will reopen the Carlton on June 30th as part of their Rainbow Cinemas chain, which already has three Toronto locations: Market Square, Woodbine Centre, and Promenade Mall.

To celebrate the reopening, tickets are free on June 30th and July 1st. There are thirteen films to choose from, including Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, Oscar-hit The Hurt Locker, and celebrated Japanese film Departures. The facility, of course, has been refurbished, with Magic Lantern reportedly spending $1.5 million dollars upgrading the sound and screen equipment, as well as improving the lobby and adding comfortable seating. Regular programming will commence on July 2nd, with Sounds like a Revolution, Tehroun, Holy Rollers, Hey Hey It’s Ester Blueburger. Adult evening tickets will be $9, with $7 matinees, $6 for seniors and children, and $5 Tuesdays.

Carlton’s success remains to be seen. Despite cries of ‘gentrification’ by Toronto cultural critics, it seems that independent cinema remains vibrant in the city. The Bloor Cinema in the Annex and the Royal in Little Italy remain natural homes for smart cinephiles, the recently-opened Toronto Underground Cinema is quickly establishing itself as the next great repertory cinema, and in September, TIFF will be opening the Bell Lightbox. Clearly, the Carlton is facing some stiff competition, but Toronto will be better for it.

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