The York Cinema closes for good this weekend, and my heart's breaking.
The York, the Uptown and the Eglinton are the city's best movie houses, cinemas with huge screens, awesome sound systems and wonderfully large auditoriums.
The new Silvercity cinemas are high-quality theatres with great projection systems and really comfortable seats, but they're multiplexes that fray the nerves with loud games, harsh lighting and loads of people streaming through -- an experience that can make you feel like a salmon during spawning season.
Someday there may be film lovers who'll never have seen a movie in a grand building.
I live about five minutes from the York. I can brush my teeth, slip on my Blundstones and buy a ticket in under 10 minutes. I walk by every day, thinking how lucky I was to move into the neighbourhood a few months after landing a job as a movie critic -- it's like someone with a shoe fetish moving in beside the Bata Museum. I've experienced cinematic bliss at the York, been bored to bum-numbing tears, suffered through awkward first dates and told hundreds of people behind me to shut up. Once I snuck in a few cold beers under my jacket to watch Fight Club; that movie called out for brewskis instead of a super-size 7-Up -- and they tasted great.
I've had trouble negotiating that massive spiral staircase after a dizzying action flick. The key is not to walk down the inside edge, the steps get narrow very quickly.
The cinema says goodbye with the restored Lawrence Of Arabia. The 70mm version screens Friday (August 24) at 7:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday (August 25 and 26) at 2 and 7:30 pm, and I can't wait.
I know by the end credits I'll be crying. We'll sneak a few libations with us and make a farewell toast to the building that housed our dreams.