Toronto’s Best Independent Movie Theatres

If your tastes in film go beyond rom-coms and the Fockers series, your local theatre may not always call your name. Fortunately, Toronto’s blessed with several excellent independent cinemas. Here, five of the finest.

Camera Bar
The 6’ by 8’ screen at Atom Egoyan’s Camera Bar can’t compete with your local Silver City, but with plush stadium seating, an intimate atmosphere (capacity is 50) and free Saturday screenings, size doesn’t matter. Upcoming screenings include the psychological thriller, The Silent Partner, and Canadian classic Goin’ Down the Road. 1028 Queen. St. W., 416-530-0011.

Bloor Cinema
For years, Toronto film buffs have flocked to this grand, century-old theatre (pictured above) to take in the best classic, cult and indie flicks (or a midnight screening of The Dark Side of Oz). A five-dollar membership gets you five-dollar films for six months. 506 Bloor St. W., 416-516-2330.

NFB Mediatheque
In addition to regular screenings of award-winning NFB films, Mediatheque provides 16 free digital viewing stations, offering free access to more than 5,500 NFB films, from classics like The Sweater, to the Oscar-winning short, Ryan. 150 John St., 416-973-3012.

Carlton Cinema
In addition to studio films, the Carlton screens solid independent and foreign films. A recent $1.5-million renovation means roomier seats, and new screens and sound systems. 20 Carlton St., 416-494-9371.

TIFF Bell Lightbox
This glass-and-steel skyscraper may not scream “indie film.” Still, it screens a wide range of films – generally a half-dozen-plus daily – ?ranging, this week, from the Quebecois gem, Incendies, to The Goonies. 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433.

Image courtesy of smaku.

Comments

3 thoughts on “Toronto’s Best Independent Movie Theatres

  1. These are all great Toronto venues and the TIFF Bell Lightbox is a welcome new addition screening some great independent & foreign films and old classics – what a great experience to see Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ on the big screen again. However, calling the old favourite Carlton an “independent” is stretching it a little; it’s part of the not-that-small Rainbow Cinemas chain. May I suggest including the two superb examples of classic independent cinemas on Mount Pleasant Rd, the Regent theatre and the Mount Pleasant cinema. They’re such a great antidote to the swarm of the Cineplex.

  2. Hey Tom,
    Growing up, Mount Pleasant was one of my neighbourhood cinemas and I have seen many movies there over the years. Was tempted to include it and would have if I had a bit more space. I suppose I’ve been going to the Carlton more lately and haven’t been to Mt. Pleasant in awhile, though your comment certainly speaks to its reputation.

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