With Roncesvalles rep cinema the Revue toasting its 100th anniversary this year, and cross-town counterpart the Fox set to celebrate its centennial in 2013, the venerable venues have teamed up to cohost Rep Revival, a two-week screening series paying tribute to cherished cult mainstays, beloved ’80s blockbusters and several of cinema’s all-time classics.
Though unfathomable to those raised in the era of DVD, Blu-ray, and on-demand streaming, there was once a time when rep screenings were the only way of revisiting movies whose original theatrical runs had come and gone. The revival series, which begins today and runs through June 28, recognizes the integral role rep houses played in demonstrating demand for repeat viewings—a crucial precursor to the development of contemporary home-video formats.
The series is a chance to support two of Toronto’s longest-serving independent movie houses, and it’s also a rare opportunity to experience the selected films on the big screen, whether via digital projection (at the Fox), or original 35-mm prints (at the Revue). And as for those films, the lineup includes Annie Hall, Back to the Future, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Chinatown, Dr. Strangelove, Eraserhead, Ghostbusters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rear Window and The Sting, among many others. Need we say more?