Day Fourty-Nine – Yay, The Carlton is Saved!

18 02 2010

It’s nice to start your day with some good news.

I’m usually the type that’s quite happy to see things changing and moving on. I don’t really feel any attachment to buildings. If you can tear something down and put something even better on top – I’ll hand you the shovel.

Still, there’s something to be said for a building like the Carlton. It’s stood the test of time, under different names and management, but it’s been a mainstay of Toronto.

Though it needed a renovation, the Carlton Cinemas was a great place to watch limited releases.

But, given the choice between a movie at the AMC an intersection up the street and the Carlton, I’ll take my stadium seating in the AMC. That’s why it’s good news that Rainbow Cinemas is taking the time to renovate the building and try to bring it up to par of todays theatres.

I’m not expecting stadium seating or 200 seat screenings, but digital projection and surround sound are a start.

What made the Carlton last as long as it did was its identity to see those hard to find films. Where else could you watch The Cove and Food Inc.? Even with it’s 24 screens, the AMC would rather play Transformers 2 on twelve of them than a limited release picture.

It may not be the best business model, but since it closed down, it opened a hole in the market.

This feels like good news overall for the movie industry. People care enough to get a limited release theatre up and running again. They’re willing to go out on a Friday night to watch a movie that no one else has heard of, rather than just waiting for the DVD.

It’s also good news for Toronto. Or, at least, movie-goers in the Toronto area. Once again, we won’t have to worry about being completely left out. When the nominees for Best Documentary were named, I tried to look them up in Toronto. They were nowhere to be found. In the back of my mind, I knew that the Carlton would have these, but being closed, that wouldn’t be so easy.

Still, all it will take to have the Carlton close again is poor ticket sales. Whether there aren’t too many good films in limited release or the AMC decides to start playing them, it makes it a dangerous venture.

Nonetheless, I wish it the best and I’m excited to go back this summer.

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