Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains of 2007––the people, places, and things that we’ve either fallen head over heels in love with or developed uncontrollable rage towards over the past twelve months. Get your dose, starting Boxing Day and running into the new year, three times a day––sunrise, noon, and sunset.
When the Festival Cinemas chain was shut down last year by supervillains The McQuillain Kids (after inheriting the business from their film buff papa when he passed on), the future of our city’s second-run theatres looked dicey. But this past year has seen the Royal reopen as an editing-suite-by-day/theatre-by-night and the Fox reopen as… well, a theatre. Radtacular as the reopening and re-imagining of both of those theatres has been, neither has been as big of a labor of love as the newly reopened and sweetly not-for-profit Revue Cinema.
While working-class hero Danny Mullin became the face of the miracle on Roncesvalles after dropping the cool million bucks required to purchase the building, like Oz behind the curtain it’s general manager and ex-Festival employee Tim Bourgette who—with the help of the Revue Film Society—is responsible for recognizing and working out the realities of putting a community-run not-for-profit moviehouse into practice.
Since he was appointed G.M. by the RFS, he has tirelessly and somewhat thanklessly worked a neverending cycle of 16-hour days, much of it unpaid, in order to get/keep the boat afloat. Even going so far as to have his personal cell phone be the line to the theatre for the first month of business before phones could be set up (to this day he answers his phone with “Revue Cinema”). With inspired programming (that he books), a newly constructed stage for live acts (that he built! With his bare hands! What a dreamboat!), and a slew of educational programming including a film school for neighbourhood kids in the works (that he helped set into motion), he’s pretty much ensured the theatre much success in various avenues for a long time to come.
Now if only someone would tell the dick keeping the Kingsway Theatre dark to stop raising the rent of the building and spooking prospective tenants… talk about a villain.
Photo of Tim taking down the Revue’s “For Sale” sign by Mike Charbonneau.