Guillermo del Toro calls on Toronto mayor to save historic cinema

Guillermo del Toro calls on Toronto mayor to save historic cinema

Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is calling on Toronto mayor Olivia Chow to save a beloved west-end cinema from a pending eviction.

Del Toro asked his 2.4 million followers on X to sign a petition on Thursday that’s garnered more than 20,000 signatures to save the Revue Cinema.

The 112-year-old theatre on Roncesvalles Avenue, just south of Dundas Street West, was suddenly informed late last week that its lease wouldn’t be renewed. The Revue’s owners then sought and obtained a court injunction pausing the eviction last Friday.

“Mayor Olivia Chow can you help save the REVUE, one of Canada’s most beloved, non-profit, cultural landmarks,” del Toro posted on X Thursday, also tagging MPP Bhutila Karpoche, Coun. Gord Perks, and MP Arif Viran.

“If not you, WHO can help? Or HOW can I help?”

According to Revue Film Society Chair Grant Oyston, the landlord’s refusal to renew the cinema’s lease was a sudden attempt at a “hostile takeover” of the independent theatre.

“He showed up during a sold-out screening of ‘The Matrix,’ and he said, ‘Folks, you’re all out of here as of July 1,'” Oyston said last week.

@MayorOliviaChow Can you help save the REVUE, one of Canada’s most beloved, non-profit, cultural landmarks? https://t.co/59TrOEgoqB Almost 20k signatures have been added https://t.co/uvT0DalW6d
If not you, WHO can help? Or HOW can I help? @BhutilaKarpoche @viraniarif @gordperks

— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) July 4, 2024

“He expressed he doesn’t want to renew our lease, and he wants us out of the building, and he’s planning to take it private.”

The Mexican-born director has a roster of acclaimed movies filmed in the Toronto area, including “The Shape of Water,” “Mimic,” “Crimson Peak,” “Mama” and “Pacific Rim.”

Del Toronto, who divides his time between Toronto and Los Angeles, recently shared some of this favourite local bookstores in the city. He frequently posts about the things he loves about Toronto, and runs a studio out of three adjacent apartments in the east-end.

Screenings will continue at Revue Cinema until a trial gets underway to determine the theatre’s future. 

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