Photo by Michael Chrisman/Torontoist.
The Cineplex Odeon Carlton Cinemas closed in December, and languished for all of a month before being snapped up by new owners Magic Lantern Theatres, operators of Rainbow Cinemas. Last week, an enormous banner (depicted above) appeared above the entrance to the shuttered multiplex, announcing a reopening date of June 30, with free movies on the first two days of operation.
You already knew all about this if you picked up a copy of this week’s Eye Weekly and scoped out the full-page ad Magic Lantern placed there to this effect. The schedule of free movies is already up on the Magic Lantern website. Most of them are older than second-run. Regular programming begins on July 2.
The Eye ad also mentions that the multiplex’s nine renovated auditoriums (the original fittings were pretty well ripped apart when Cineplex vacated the space) will now feature “comfortable love seats.” Because that extra armrest really gets in the way of…appreciating international cinema.
(Note to Carlton Cinema management: The City of Toronto might be able to advise you on automatic seat cleaning technology.)
Between this, the nearly complete Bell Lightbox (where the TIFF Cinematheque will be taking up residence in September), and the sudden emergence of the Toronto Underground Cinema, it’s encouraging to see so much growth among the city’s movie houses, especially after the pessimism that followed the initial announcement of the Carlton Cinema’s closure.
The Carlton under Cineplex was one of downtown’s best movie values, pound for pound, and all indications point to it continuing in that tradition. Prices are set at $9 for regular adult admission, $7 for matinees, and $5 all day on Tuesdays.
In the meantime, the doors at the Carlton remain locked. And yes, those are uncut sheets of Sweet ‘n Low packets obscuring the glass.