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A Cinematic Tribute to the Cumberland Four

A local filmmaker pays homage to the fallen multiplex.

When the Cumberland Four Cinemas closed down for good on Sunday with very little fanfare and almost no warning (apparently to make way for an upscale coffee retailer) it seemed an ignominious end for a multiplex that has served Yorkville for more than three decades. Some have tried to eulogize the place, but none so eloquently as the maker of this film tribute, embedded above. Vimeo user Bronson Allen—who says, in the video description, that the Cumberland is his “former employer and lover”—has captured the spirit of the art-house theatre in a pretty hilarious mash-up/pastiche of French New Wave and Hollywood-movie-trailer bombast. Get some popcorn and enjoy.


  • Anonymous

    Nice film but PROOFREAD, PEOPLE

    • former Cumberland employee

      Don’t think it wasn’t mentioned that to him, but it was decided that the Cumberland was a toilet, and thus it should stay (:

  • Graeme

    Great video. I used to be a manager there, it makes me sad that the staff can lament so wholeheartedly the loss of such a poorly maintainedand disregarded theatre. The place was the embodiment of tedium. I think most of the staff will miss being paid to do absolutely nothing and that the majority of them are in for a rude awakening once they find new jobs. Goodbye Cumberland, you won’t be missed or even remembered.

    • Bronson

      Hahahah Graeme! Way to add a touch of Misanthropy to the proceedings!

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately for you, he and many others are speaking the truth; whether you can accept it or not is up to you.

    • Luke

      Funny. My memory of working there is listening to the constant whining of bitter, incompetent managers who more often than not made the place less enjoyable and less efficient than it had any reason to be.

      The cinema itself was great though, and it was an awesome first job. Cumberland, you will be missed and remembered.

    • Matt

      Are you the same Graeme that left the Cumberland for Japan? I almost rented your super cool apartment on the Danforth… if you aren’t the same Graeme… that’s too bad…

  • Matt

    Great video! The Cumberland was my first job in Toronto. I remember whenever we’d be cleaning the theatre after a movie we’d get so excited for an unopened bag of licorice or half a bag of peanut butter m&m’s. Aw… those were the days…
    We also played the best soundtracks while the theatres stood empty. Pollock is a memorable one.

  • Anonymous

    Is there any reason why the Cumberland couldn’t have been sold to Magic Lantern Theaters and refurbished like the Carlton and the Market Square? Obviously, they wouldn’t be showing any independent movies or foreign ones, but at least the space would still be a place to see movies, and at cheaper prices.

    • Barry

      I think the Coffee place is temporary. Eventually the entire complex is going to raised and turned into a condo (or two).

      • Barry

        Apologies for the spelling mistakes. I need a copy chief.

  • Anonymous

    It was a pretty shitty theatre.

    And not because it was run down (one night we were treated to space heaters in the isles. Firey!).

    No, it was shitty because I’ve never been to a theatre where more patrons talk through a movie, More so than any other theatre in the GTA. And I’ve sat through American Beauty at the Scarborough Town Centre on a Saturday night.

    So long religious idiot who muttered all the way through Passion of the Christ, hoping their invisible sky friend would keep them safe from the shadow play up on the screen. See ya confused lady trying to follow along through Cache, who gave up and chatted with her friend! Adios guy who was obviously going through some sort of sexual denial by spouting homophobic comments during Brokeback Mountain! Bye bye chair kicker during Sunshine!

  • ScarTownMafioso

    yo fuck dat place nigga. i saw great debaters there wit my girl and the fuckin seats were gay as shit

  • Chris peckhem

    too many niggers worked there

    • Christopher Peckham

      I’d like to know who the F you think you are by using my name to spout your racial bigotry… Peckhem spelled wrong by the way. You, an idiot, doesn’t seem to grasp that the cinema was one extra place to be entertained by movies (if you so chose) that is no longer a choice you have.

      I’ve worked for and with a lot of people all over North America, in different cities, and in various capacities… some of them day jobs, and others – professions. Cumberland was a unique day job. Unique equally in the films the cinema showed, and in the staff they hired. Some of us just love film. As an art form. Akin to sculpture or paintings or architecture or music.

      And if you didn’t like the staff, remember that when all is said and done, services provided at a cinema are not life threatening. Ever. We were there to provide entertainment, not a cure for your illness. Perhaps you were expecting minimum wage workers to kiss your butt? Ask those who watched movies frequently, we were a part of the community and just as much family to some in Yorkville.

      Complain about the audience? Well that’s YOU, not US. On average, you pay 15 bucks or less, watch a 2 hour movie, eat a bag of popcorn, and walk away. Didn’t like the movie? Popcorn too salty this time? No one kissed your butt today? It’s called life. I spent 7 years of my life working at that day job so you could have one extra luxury that you no longer have BTW. Even after we all leave, and the place gets shut down for another coffee joint/condo, we still don’t get even an inkling of the respect we had for you. And I had respect for the audience, and the staff, and the community. Good luck replacing that.

      PS. Awesome short Bronson! I’ll wager I see your name on a union credit roll soon enough.

      • Anonymous

        Why didn’t you do what I did, and FLAG his ass? His comment should be banned.

        • Anonymous

          So, not sure what’s going on with Disqus, but that comment should never have made it through the filters – and also, we needn’t receive notification that it had been flagged. Sincere apologies for having it linger on the site. It will be removed momentarily.

          • Anonymous

            Thank you.

          • ChristopherPeckham

            I did flag it… it obviously needed more clout. Thanks guys.