Hot Docs Cinema to reopen on September 10

Moviegoers must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result to enter


The big screen will soon light up again at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

The documentary-focused movie theatre at Bathurst and Bloor is set to reopen on September 10 after being shuttered for nearly 18 months – and, of course, there are rules.

If you’ve been to a movie since the province entered step 3 of the reopening plan, the COVID protocols at Hot Docs should be familiar: the cinema will operate at 50 per cent capacity, seating will be physically distanced, masks are mandatory except when eating or drinking and patrons are encouraged to book tickets online in advance.

As is becoming the trend, all staff, volunteers and patrons must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID test result received within 48 hours of their visit in order to enter. The full list of health and safety rules is here.

The Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema closed on March 15, 2020, and suspended all operations as the pandemic’s first wave hit Toronto. However, the company pivoted to video-on-demand (VOD), launching the Hot Docs at Home virtual cinema to screen new releases as well as hosting the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival entirely online for the past two years.

VOD programming will continue to be available online. Hot Docs said in a news release that programmers will endeavour to bring movies that are playing at the brick-and-mortar theatre to audiences at home, as well as special series complementing films screened at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.

First-run movies set to play when the cinema reopens include Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain; Gunda; Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street; Stray; Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised); and Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation.

Other events to keep an eye out for include the return of CatVideoFest, a one-off screening of Nick Broomfield’s latest film Last Man Standing: Suge Knight And The Murders Of Biggie & Tupac and a doc about the free jazz movement called Fire Music.

Hot Docs will also bring back its four screening series: Music On Film, This Film Should Be Played Loud, High Minded and Films Changing The World. See the full schedule here.

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One response to “Hot Docs Cinema to reopen on September 10”

  1. Good news, I suppose, but Hot Docs’ rip-off of about $200 last year still leaves a sour taste.
    When the pandemic pushed the annual festival online, I’m not likely the only regular attendee who valued viewing films in an audience and having filmmakers in person for questions and comments — which made it a festival instead of just videos on a computer screen. But while airlines and other organizations have refunded cash for cancelled services, Hot Docs refused even a credit for unused vouchers, let alone a refund. Not good audience relations, or fair, the way I see it.

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