Monday, June 18, 2007

It took a former paratrooper to save the Revue

Remember last summer when it seemed like every rep cinema in the city was closing shop? Well, here's a bit of good news for all of you who feared the Revue was going to be turned into a parking lot...

Many of you will have been aware of the campaign to save the Revue from demolition - a campaign headed by the Revue Film Society that managed to raise $30 000 (!) in the course of a few short months. (Check out their website at It was a valiant effort, but sadly not enough.

Well, one Liverpool-born Danny Mullin has rescued the Revue for the hefty sum of $954 000 (a steal when you consider the going price was $1.275 million) and lease it to the non-profit Revue Film Society. While $60 000-worth of upgrades are expected to be needed if the theatre is to open by the end of the summer (bake sale, anyone?), we can all be grateful that Mr. Mullin has taken it upon himself to preserve this piece of Toronto's heritage when no one else seemed willing or able. Leave it to the English to show us Canadians how it's done. Hopefully we can secure an interview with Mr. Mullin to get his thoughts on the Revue and the status of Toronto's rep cinemas. In the meantime, prepare for late August, when the Revue is slated to open again. And expect a retrospective on Kirk Douglas - I hear that's Mr. M's favourite actor.

Thanks to Second Cup for letting me steal last week's National Post from which I gleaned most of this information.

(On a side note: I was in Little Italy today, having a drink with a friend, when what did I stumble upon in the bargain-bin of Balfour Books but a copy of Andrew Fenady's cult novel about a man who undergoes plastic surgery to literally become Sam Spade, 'The Man With Bogart's Face'. I think this minor find bodes well for the site...)

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