For film aficionados, the experience of seeing a movie on the big screen is priceless. While modern-day multi-plexes and their high-tech viewing environments can be an awesome way to see a film, embracing the romance of the old-fashioned theatre in a venue that captures the allure of the genre with architectural touches and history is really priceless.
One of the more interesting theatres that has survived into the modern era is the Regent Theatre, Located at 551 Mount Pleasant Road, this nugget of Toronto’s cinematic history opened in 1927. This was one of many entertainment venues in the city during the era designed by famed architect Murray Brown.
The Regent Theatre was originally called The Belsize and later The Crest, until in re-opened as the Regent. It was part of the iconic Famous Players chain and played a prominent role in cinematic history in Canada, both as a venue and for the type of content it offered patrons. At its advent in 1927, the single-screen Regent had all the hallmarks of the elegance of old-time theatre: opulent lobby, leather seats and venetian viewing boxes. Both the theatre’s interior and exterior were something to see, with arches, decorative plaster and other impressive touches through the lobby and viewing area. The exterior façade bears Roman arches and stone work that really gave the theatre the sense of grandeur.
Photos courtesy of TaylorOnHistory
The Regent Theatre has evolved through many different owners and appearances throughout the years, and is in many ways symbolic of the gentrification of the neighbourhood itself. It started out as a silent movie house, but evolved and expanded over the generations, including being a live performance theatre for a few decades before it returned to its motion picture roots.
Today, the Regent hosts regular screenings of a wide range of films; we find the viewing experience is uniquely enjoyable within the framework of such a historic building. Live theatre, music and other special events happen regularly as well, keeping content fresh and engaging. It makes for the perfect family outing on a Friday night or a rainy Sunday afternoon!
Check out these interesting posts about the Regent Theatre’s history, along with some cool photos of this theatre over the years: “Toronto’s old movie theatres—the Regent (the Belsize, the Crest)” and “The Cinematic Center of Davisville Village: An examination of the Regent theatre”.
Visit their website to see what’s playing!
The Regent Theatre
551 Mt Pleasant Rd,
Toronto, ON M4S 2M5
Phone: (416) 480-9884
And to read about a few other art venues we’ve profiled, try:
We love Midtown!
It was a pleasure to sell this stunning home just a few blocks from the Regent Theatre, Walder Avenue. Having started its housing life in 1932 as a humble bungalow, this property, like so many which surround it, has undergone substantial renovations including a rear extension and a second floor addition. Today, this bespoke dwelling – transformed in 2014 – is an ideal contempoary sanctuary for the busy urban family. We called it: Wonder On Walder Near Coveted Bayview & Eglinton.
We also spent a lot of time in this neighbourhhod last year, when we were selling an upgraded residence on Cleveland Street – just to the south. We called it: Classic On Cleveland Street in Davisville Village!
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