I love films and hey, I'm trying to make a living at making them, so it was especially sad to see The Carlton movie theatre close down this week. It's always sad to see old establishments in Toronto close down, but especially movie theatres. These places hold special meaning for me; the excitement of seeing of film, the feeling it leaves with you afterwards, discussion around it, the ability to escape for an hour or so to another place, time...a theatre is the home for all of this and more.
I didn't even really get to say my proper goodbyes, but it's okay because I have a lot of great memories from my many visits there. A special thanks must go out to the awesome staff, a few of them friends and former classmates of mine, who hosted the weekly Monday Midnight Movie Madness nights that I especially loved. Seeing Back to the Future in a movie theatre was pretty awesome, and hilarious since screenings were normally accompanied by non-stop jokes from the audience members.
With The Carleton's closing this week, it has been nice to see the surrounding community reflect on this event. Special mention of one staff member and friend Doug Benn, who's Facebook page for the past little while has been riddled with photos and videos reflecting on his time at the theatre.
While the above photo is a little shocking, it's a reminder of what we've lost. It also creates an urgency to keep alive the things that smaller venues like The Carlton represent, such as support for independent filmmakers. Without that support, we stand to lose much more than a space. We will lose important components that make up Toronto's artistic and cultural tapestry.