Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gone But Forgotten: TD Centre Cinema

Did you know there was once a 660 seat movie theatre in the Toronto-Dominion Centre? Look how foolish this city can be, letting go of a jewel like this...

It looks like a classy bank. Maybe they had safety deposit boxes near the popcorn stand. Maybe the popcorn stand used real gold in the golden topping...

Imagine walking through this lobby, past those Barcelona chairs, descending those stairs and watching a movie in this room...

There was a non-descript set of steps just south of King on Bay that led down to a modernist hallway and that was the shortest cut to get to the theatre. I have dim memories of going here with my family when I was very young to see Harold and Maude.

The mall in the TD Centre was the only commercial shopping concourse ever designed by Mies van der Rohe, at the very end of his career - not sure if he had a direct hand in the theatre design. Mies was so hands-on that he even stipulated all signage had to be white back-lit lettering (in a font he designed specifically for the complex) on black sheet metal plating; of course the current building management have since renovated everything and no longer maintain the integrity of the visual design - smart, smart, smart.

The Cinema opened in 1967 and closed in 1978, just at the dawn of the new multiplex era. The theatre itself is supposedly still there though. Let's open it back up. I'll meet you in the lobby once the restoration is complete - I'll be sitting in one of the Barcelona chairs.

(Thanks to Mantler for the pictures)

No comments: