During the “Golden Age” of Hollywood, motion picture studios controlled every step of the production, distribution, and exhibition of movies in the United States. Then, in 1948, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled these practices anti-competitive and monopolistic, forcing the studios to divest themselves of the theatres they owned, and opening the market to foreign films, art films, and independent films—for the first time, movie houses that were not part of large chains were able to compete.
Almost sixty years later, the free market having for the most part returned us to an age of oligopoly, Toronto’s most beloved rep theatre is turning this situation on its head. In the past month, the Bloor Cinema has become “the only theatre in the city producing and exhibiting its own films,” a place where concession and ticket sellers turn a camera on themselves and project Russ Meyer-esque fantasy versions of their own experiences onto the screen.
Written and directed by kernel hurler Robin Sharp, the episodes of The Popcorn Trilogy will continue to precede all regular 9:00 p.m. shows at the Bloor through September 9, with one short being shown each week. The cycle begins anew this week with “The New Girl,” follows next week with “All The Way Up,” and concludes the subsequent week with “Sign of the Times,” before starting all over again.
But, really, now that the Bloor has upgraded its projectors and sound system, there’s really no reason not to be going there on a weekly basis, anyway.
Photo of Popcorn Trilogy star (and Bloor employee) Joey Buck by Sharp, from his “Film & Theatre” Facebook album.