Saturday, January 9, 2016

Farewell to the Fox

Not to totally freak anyone out -- the Fox Theatre in Toronto is not actually shutting down.  However, I had a generally unpleasant experience there tonight and have decided it is not worth my time going back.  I realize this is quite the institution out in the Beaches, but when we went last year to see Birdman, I thought the screen was really not that great (it seemed to ripple occasionally) and just in general it isn't (for me) a high quality movie-going experience.  And that might be ok, if the prices reflected true second-run prices, but they are now asking $11 to see a film.  Granted I am still stuck in the 90s as far as my expectations, but I generally only rated the experience there in the $6-8 range.

What made it worse is that I showed up at 6:30 and was maybe the 7th person in line but the box office still hadn't opened up, and then when some employee finally showed up with the cash box, he couldn't seem to figure out how to open it.  It was like amateur night.  The problem was that I hadn't eaten anything and I needed to run out and grab a bite to eat, so this dilly-dallying was very frustrating to me.  I finally left the line and got a bagel a few doors down.  By the time I had finished that, the line was very long, and they put me in the wrong line (for members only) and then the correct line was pretty long as well.  I have to be honest that I doubt I would have paid $8 to see Trumbo in any case, since it certainly doesn't have to be seen on the big screen, and when I found out that it was going to cost $11, I just decided to bail and go home.

So I don't plan on going back, which kind of cuts things down to the Royal (which has $8 matinees, though most screenings would still set me back $10, but at least it is run better than the Fox) and Magic Lantern/Rainbow Cinemas have theatres fairly close to me, where the movies are also priced at $10.  I wouldn't call these pure 2nd run theatres, and I still don't want to pay $10 to see Trumbo, but I might check out some of their offerings some time.  Finally, the theatre I used to go to the most in the 90s is still around though it now mostly has documentaries: Bloor Hot Doc Cinema.  Still, I should try to remember to keep an eye out for their "Back to the Bloor" series where they show retro films.

In reality, I'll probably still mostly wait for the Tiff Lightbox to do a series on Bergman or Kurosawa and go to that.  Most movies today just aren't doing it for me any more.  In terms of popular culture films (not the art films), I was just far more attuned to films of the 80s and very early 90s.  I know there are certainly some fine films out there (scattered between all the super-hero flicks) but they aren't particularly "epic" or even "cinematic" and can all fairly safely be seen on the small screen.

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