Toronto’s cult-movie-playing living room theatre closing for good?
Apr 14, 2010
April 14, 2010
College and Bathurst is a destination for many students and hipsters. Bars on that corner like Sneaky Dee’s, Nirvana, and Bistro 422 attract students and hipsters alike with their cheap drinks and acceptable food.
But there is one other unsung hero of the College and Bathurst intersection that has been a staple of underground film culture in Toronto: the Cineforum.
It’s a strange place… a movie screening area in the living room. I tried to go once, but chickened out at the last minute (I was 16 at the time coming from out of town, so cut me a break!). They screen obscure movies like Nosferatu, old Salvador Dali movies etc. You’ve probably seen their posters plastered all over Queen West.
But two weeks ago Reg Hartt, owner of the Cineforum, received a notice of violation from the city’s Licensing and Standards division. Apparently you can’t run a theatre out of your residence.
The good news is that there is a city councillor, Adam Vaughan, who is one Hartt’s side. Vaughan stated to NOW! Magazine:
“[Hartt] is a folk hero, so you don’t want to squash him. We just need to figure out how to keep going forward.” NOW! Magazine
For now, though, the Cineforum has closed its doors. Despite the fact that Hartt might be able to find a new venue he said:
“It’s not like I can go somewhere else…something unique happened here.” NOW! Magazine
Let’s hope it sticks around. With the overarching trend of gentrification in the more artistic areas of town like Queen West and losing the Big Bop, Toronto is giving up some of the grungy gems that make urban life diverse and interesting. Let’s hope Vaughan helps Reg Hartt’s legacy live on. Word.