Let’s save the Regent Theatre
Josh Matlow Ward 22 Councillor
The iconic Regent Theatre on Mount Pleasant Road is under threat. Our community recently learned that the owners have put the historic cinema up for sale.
The Regent, opened as the Belsize in 1927, and later known as the Crest, has been a cinema and has also hosted live theater productions including vaudeville acts.
Unlike many older movie houses that have been significantly modified, the Regent’s stage could still be easily adapted for plays and concerts. This feature, along with being one of the few theaters of this size in Toronto to have a balcony, were among the reasons it was listed as a heritage building and identified by the City of Toronto as a key cultural space.
In an effort to protect the theater’s built form and purpose, I’m bringing together local residents, our city’s arts and culture supporters, to look for feasible options for the site. For example, joining our efforts is the Revue Film Society, a grassroots organization of community members that came together to save the Revue cinema on Roncesvalles in Toronto’s west end. Run as a non-profit, the Revue is now a thriving movie house. There are many other models we are exploring too.
The city does not have the resources to purchase the $9 million property alone. However, I have also brought in experts from the City of Toronto, Economic Development & Culture Division to offer advice on how to protect this local treasure.
I will continue to look at every opportunity to save this landmark in the heart of midtown.
The theatre at 551 Mount Pleasant Rd. near Belsize Drive