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Toronto’s Iconic Revue Cinema Faces Closure After Lease Negotiations Stall

The potential shuttering of the 112-year-old theatre would mark another blow for the city’s film community.

by Prabhjot Bains

The Revue Cinema, one of Toronto’s most beloved and oldest operating independent movie theatres, could bid farewell after recent lease negotiations ceased.

In an Instagram statement made on Thursday, July 27, members of the Revue Film Society informed patrons they were unable to secure a new lease past June 30, 2024. The statement added they are still attempting to continue good-faith negotiations with the landlord but are unsure if they’ll be able to remain open past the lease end date. 

According to The Revue’s website, the cinema “programs over a thousand screenings per year,” including curated film series, multicultural film festivals, and panel discussions. Though many of these events are now in limbo, the Revue ensures that “in the event of a disruption, ticket holders, event rentals, and members will be reimbursed.”

Via Twitter, Canadian author and Revue Film Society board member Elizabeth Renzetti notes “more than 20 staff and dozens of programmers will lose their livelihoods if the Revue closes.”



This isn’t the first time the Revue has faced closure. After decades of operation as a first run and repertory cinema, Heavy snowfall damaged the theatre’s marquee, forcing it to shutter their doors in 2007. With the formation of the Revue Film Society, the theatre was able to re-open as a not-for-profit organization after successful fundraising.

That collective finds itself at risk today, as landlord Daniel Mullin reportedly aims to disband the board and transform the designated heritage site into a private, profit-generating enterprise. The Revue Film Society is reportedly seeking a court injunction to halt the eviction.

Ex-Revue employee, Katheryn Taylor, has created an online petition aimed at Parkdale-High Park councilor Gord Perks, MPP Bhutila Karpoche, MP Arif Virani, and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow. The petition, which describes the Revue as a “cultural Institution” and a “vital part of Toronto’s cultural fabric” has garnered over 5000 signatures.

The Revue’s situation has received an instant outpouring of support on social media. On Twitter, Chandler Levack, Director of TIFF breakout I Like Movies, calls The Revue the “heart of Toronto’s film community”, urging others to “Sign the Petition!” Many users have even called on Oscar-winning director Guillermo Del Toro, who is currently filming his upcoming “Frankenstein” in Toronto, to take an active step in staving off the Revue’s potential shuttering.



The Revue’s closure would mark another blow to Toronto’s historic film scene, with the Hot Docs Film Festival (Canada’s Largest Documentary Film Festival) temporarily closing their flagship theatre earlier this month on June 12.  Being home to more than a century of filmgoing memories since its opening in 1912, many hope The Revue will still be there for generations after July 1.

The petition to protect the Revue Cinema can be found here.