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Best Theatrical Experience

Unlike the award discussed earlier the trophy for this Golden Road category demands more than a paragraph. With the hopes of holding your attention it’s important to remember that “Best Theatrical Experience” crowns my greatest movie going adventures.

When 2011 premiered I embarked upon the “Race to 100.” This self-appointed quest was designed to push me into seeing 100 different movies in twelve months. It’s April 14th and I’m already at thirty-three. Yet, if this endeavor sounds easy I suggest trying it out before boasting. Sure the act itself is effortless, however the commitment is everything but. To maintain interest in the overall experience I’ve had to become rather creative. One way of doing this has been to become invested in the theaters I go to. So, without further ado the top three theaters up for Best Theatrical Experience (in no particular order):

Scotiabank Theatre: Built just south of the heart of Queen West, Scotiabank Theater is Cineplex’s flagship multi-screener. Home to the IMAX experience, Ultra AVX, and The Great Digital Film Festival it’s definitely an enjoyable abode. With a well stocked bar in Vivid, food vendors like the new Poptopia, and access to the companies rewards program there’s ample amenities available. Furthermore, it is the choice locale for many top-end premieres. I’ve seen The Fighter, Insidious, and Scream 4 pre-release at Scotia. Just like the walkway atop its stairs it’s a little bit of Hollywood for our cities cinematic scene.

Tiff Bell Lightbox: Grand central for our annual festival of festivals, the Lightbox is the most ambitious project in Toronto. Equipped with two O&B restaurants and top notch exhibit space it’s made for the elite. Memberships begin at $100 dollars, and though the privileges are extensive you don’t need one to attend. Combining an endless amount of micro-fests it truly provides the multi-season merriment it promised. However, this isn’t where you go to see what’s mass consumed; it demands more ambitious appetites than the mainstream.

Varsity V.I.P: If you’re an everyday joe looking for something more… look no further. With Varsity’s VIP treatment you’re literally laid in the lap of luxury. Twenty-seat screening rooms with a waiting staff, coat check, and private washroom access it’s hard to pass up. Add to that the most tasteful selection in current releases and you got yourself a proper first date. However, if you’re the type to fool around while watching Shindler’s List they’ve got a classic gradient floored theater with seats you can get lost in. The type of theater I grew up with ;)

Before concluding the Queensway and Bloor Cinema must get honorable mentions. The first is a suburban palace and the second a downtown grindhouse. Soon I hope to check out Toronto’s Underground Cinema and the Royal for more fan flavors. No matter where I go I try to make a night of it, and the place that provides the most memorable ones will win. To find out who will finish first stay tuned to my life at the movies.


  • Anonymous

    All amazing theaters man! Love going to all of them!

    I really love the ULTRA AVX at Queensway though, seen so many great flicks there! Also, the one movie I saw at the Carlton on College/Yonge made me an instant fan and makes me want to go back again!

    Great job!

    • Anonymous

      I agree on the Carlton and actually should have mentioned it. I do keep meaning to go back there. We almost did with Your Highness. Anyways, I’m stoked to see Cowboy Bebop soon at T.U.C., and I’m going to see Sucker Punch a fifth time in IMAX tomorrow. I really do love that movie.

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