The Carlton returns

There's a future at the end of the rainbow for the Carlton

Here’s a story that should lift the hearts of Toronto’s movie lovers: the Carlton Cinemas will be re-opening in June.

This after Cineplex announced last November the art house/shoebox theatre would close for good.

It has since been acquired by Magic Lantern Cinemas, the Edmonton-based chain that’s made a habit of reviving discarded Toronto screens. The company acquired and reopened the Promenade, the Market Square and the Woodbine Centre as budget theatres under its Rainbow Cinemas banner.

The Carlton will operate under the Magic Lantern banner, and a press release that suggests the theatre will resemble the Carlton so beloved by its regular attendees – at least in terms of programming:

Plans are already underway to retrofit Carlton Cinema in a manner that will optimize its appeal to its regular and new patrons. Cinephiles will be able to enjoy a wide variety of art and alternative films, documentaries, special screenings and film festivals.

The key word here is “retrofit”. The Carlton may be a beloved location for moviegoers, but by the time Cineplex abandoned the venue, the nine-plex was in serious decline. The shoebox design of the auditoria makes a state-of-the-art upgrade almost impossible, but Magic Lantern is looking at new projection equipment and seating at the very least.

Here’s hoping they’re willing to put in the work – and the cash – to return the Carlton to its former glory as Toronto’s pre-eminent art house. Yonge and Carlton hasn’t been the same since it closed.[rssbreak]

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