Guillermo Del Toronto

Acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro adds voice to fight to save the Revue Cinema

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro took to social media to advocate for the preservation of the beloved Revue Cinema, which is facing closure.

Del Toro, who has extensive ties to the city including having most of his recent films shot in Toronto, posted on Twitter calling on elected officials to save the cinema, and pointing to a petition on Change.org that has more than 21,000 signatures.

The Revue Cinema, Toronto’s longest-running cinema, is facing potential shutdown amid stalled negotiations with its building owner. The non-profit Revue Film Society, which currently operates the cinema, is under pressure to disband, facing a proposed 50% rent increase, and the building owner’s intent to take over operations and convert it into a for-profit entity, according to the petition.

The Revue Cinema, a cornerstone of Toronto’s cultural scene since 1912, is more than just a place to watch films. It has been a community hub, fostering cultural exchange and inclusivity, and hosting numerous film festivals and local events.

Former employee “Kathryn T.” initiated a petition on June 27, urging local officials and the public to step in and save this beloved institution. The petition has garnered significant support, with over 21,000 signatures towards a goal of 25,000.

“As a former employee of the Revue, I have witnessed firsthand the importance of this cultural institution. A sanctuary for movie-lovers, this space is indeed more than just an affordable cinema,” she wrote. “It is a cultural hub, a forum for community interaction and inclusivity, and a custodian of our city’s vibrant arts scene. Toronto’s oldest running cinema has been defining the cinematic experience in our city for many years, and cannot be allowed to disappear due to the demands of an unreasonable, profit-driven landlord.”

Local officials, including Councillor Gord Perks, MPP Bhutila Karpoche, Mayor Olivia Chow, and MP Arif Virani, are being called upon to intervene and help preserve the cinema. Supporters argue that the Revue Cinema’s closure would not only strip the community of a cultural landmark but also leave its dedicated employees without jobs.

The Revue Cinema has played a vital role in enriching Toronto’s cultural fabric, providing a venue for countless events and nurturing a sense of community among film enthusiasts. The cinema’s supporters are determined to protect it from what they see as an unreasonable shift towards profitability that threatens its non-profit mission.

Community members and supporters of the Revue are encouraged to sign the petition and voice their concerns to local officials. The Revue Film Society is also accepting direct donations through their website to support their efforts in maintaining operations and continuing their cultural contributions.

For more information on how to support the Revue Cinema, visit their website or sign the petition on Change.org.

As for Del Toro, he also took to social media on another occasion to highlight his favourite Toronto bookstores.

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