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Toronto’s Revue Cinema Faces Uncertain Future Amid Lease Tensions

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Amid ongoing lease tensions, the iconic Revue Cinema in Toronto is facing an uncertain future, raising concerns about the preservation of a historic cultural landmark. Operated by the Revue Film Society, the 112-year-old cinema on Roncesvalles Avenue is in jeopardy due to the landlord Danny Mullin‘s decision not to extend their lease, set to expire on June 30.

According to the board chair Grant Oyston, the abrupt lease termination came as a surprise despite months of negotiations that appeared optimistic until recently. The non-profit organization has been the sole tenant of the single-screen cinema for the past 17 years, investing significantly in renovations and maintenance to upkeep the historic venue.

The Revue Film Society is taking urgent measures, including seeking an emergency court injunction, in an effort to extend their lease based on previous commitments and the terms outlined in their existing agreement with Danny Mullin.

While expressing a desire to keep the cinema operational, Danny Mullin cited disagreements with the board over management practices and renovations at the cinema, leading to his decision to not renew the lease. Concerns were raised regarding the removal of vintage posters and seats without his knowledge.

Since its opening in 1911, the Revue Cinema has been a significant cultural hub in Toronto, showcasing independent, Indigenous, and LGBT films to diverse audiences. The potential closure of the cinema not only threatens the cultural vibrancy of Toronto’s west end but also poses a significant loss to the Canadian film industry.

The board is actively engaging with local officials and government representatives to seek support and explore options to ensure the survival of the Revue Cinema, emphasizing its importance as a community gathering space and a fundamental institution in Toronto’s cultural landscape.

Rachel Adams

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