When is a community theatre not a community theatre? During the off-season, when it transforms itself into an old-school film society - which is what's happening at the Al Green Theatre , in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre at Bloor and Spadina.
"I really want the programming to be diverse - foreign films, art films, films with Jewish themes, things you wouldn't normally see at the Paramount," says theatre manager Eric Goldstein .
They'll be programming in partnership with Capri Releasing . According to Capri president Tony Cianciotta , the plan is to draw in actors, directors, writers and academics from Toronto and elsewhere to talk about what's on the screen.
"The idea is to spark discussions. We love talking about films, so we're creating a forum where you can do that."
The venue, equipped with both video and 35mm projectors, will be used as a cinema during the theatre's summer downtime. Capri programs run until mid-September, at which point the JCC returns to its normal practice of renting the theatre out to performing arts groups and hosting the Jewish Film Society 's monthly screenings, the ImagineNative film festival and others. Capri's programming returns December through February.
"We're not there to compete with cinemas," Cianciotta says. "This is something I've always wanted to do, since I started in the late 60s in the film societies. It may seem like a new idea, but it's based on a very old one. And I think there's a huge segment of the downtown community that's looking for something different. We're going to give it a try anyway. It's going to keep us off the streets."
The theatre kicks off with an exclusive screening of Metallic Blues (see review).