The Toronto Outdoor Picture Show is coming back to Fort York this summer

Assuming Ontario's reopening continues as planned, the outdoor festival plans to start screening movies downtown in late July

Been missing the outdoor screening experience? The Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (TOPS) has you covered.

The annual summer screening series announced on Friday that it will be holding in-person screenings at the national historical site downtown beginning in late July.

The TOPS & Friends festival promises “a multi-week film program and celebration of community and cinema,” with TOPS inviting a host of Toronto festivals – including Inside Out, Reel Asian, Regent Park, the Toronto Palestine Film Festival and the currently underway Breakthroughs short film festival – to serve as guest curators for individual screenings.

“We look forward to sharing this special site with our friends in the local film festival community who haven’t engaged in person with their own audiences in well over a year,” TOPS artistic and executive director Emily Reid said in a statement.

The festival will roll out its program and schedule “in the coming weeks,” as Ontario moves into step two of its reopening and more public events are allowed to go forward.

TOPS points out that Fort York’s gated grounds will allow the festival to ensure attendance doesn’t exceed the event capacity mandated by the province, while also providing the space for physical distancing. (To that end, the festival has had to abandon its usual summer programs in Christie Pits, Corktown Common and Bell Manor Park.)

Tickets to the screenings will be free and distributed through the festival website in early July, with advance access offered to donors.

To satisfy outdoor movie fans who happen to have their own outdoor space, TOPS has also launched a movie projector rental service called the Toronto Backyard Picture Show.


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