The Fox, the cherished 94-year-old rep theatre in the Beaches, is getting a new lease on life. And nicer carpets, too.
Fox owner Jerry Szczur , who has been looking for someone to take over the building, is handing the keys to Napoleonic Theatres Ltd. , known for running its share of grindhouse features at the Brunswick Theatre, on September 1.
Much to the relief of film buffs, the new owners will keep the Fox as a movie house, promising more art films, local theatre and film festivals.
Explains Napoleonic co-owner Andy Willick , "We don't want to change things, just enhance things that are already there."
Willick and partner Daniel Demois plan to refurbish the 80s-era snack bar and give the theatre a new coat of paint, but keep the facade the same.
Toronto Film Society vice-president Shirley Hughes says a new enthusiasm for rep cinema is helping these theatres get back on their feet.
The Revue Film Society is getting ready to take the Revue's reins later next month, while Theatre D Digital ended up being the Royal's and Regent's saviour. Sadly, the poor Paradise and Kingsway are still left stranded.
It's up to movie-going audiences, says Hughes, to keep the lights on at historic movie houses
"If you don't use these buildings, you're going to lose them," she says. "We always want the Fox to be there, and then you ask people when they were last there and they'll say three years ago."
The Fox will reopen its 250 seats for free screenings of The Princess Bride and short cartoons on September 29 and 30. The official launch is October 1.