Blue Ice Film and Hot Docs are delighted to announce that they have entered into a partnership to operate the recently acquired Bloor Cinema, the landmark, century-old film house located in Torontoâ€™s Annex neighbourhood. Currently undergoing renovation, the historic Bloor Cinema will reopen this fall under Hot Docsâ€™ management, revitalized and ready to welcome Torontoâ€™s film-loving public.
â€śIndependent cinemas like the Bloor are vital to the cityâ€™s vibrant film culture,â€ť says Chris McDonald, Hot Docs executive director. â€śBlue Ice Film and Hot Docs want to see them thrive.â€ť
â€śItâ€™s a dream come true,â€ť says Carm Bordonaro, the now former owner of the Bloor Cinema. â€śThe business model has completely changed and we need visionary investors and organizations like Hot Docs to protect these neighbourhood cinemas. I want to thank the community and our avid supporters who have kept the Bloor alive all these years.â€ť
Bordonaro has been involved with the Bloor Cinemaâ€™s operations since 1979, when it was part of the Festival Cinemas chain. He had been managing the venue with his family since 1999, and they purchased it in June of 2010 in an effort to ensure its survival as a cinema. Since then, the family has held off selling the venue, turning away numerous property developers until a like-minded buyer could be secured.
Under a joint venture agreement, Hot Docs as lease holder will assume responsibility for managing and programming the Bloor Cinema year round, in addition to utilizing the venue for its annual Festival and monthly Doc Soup screening series. Documentary films will be predominantly featured, but the Bloor Cinema will continue to host many of Torontoâ€™s popular film festivals and also offer programming of interest to the rep cinemaâ€™s loyal following. In addition to Hot Docs, the Bloor regularly hosts the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, the After Dark Film Festival and the Images Festival, among many others.
â€śItâ€™s a remarkable opportunity, and we are ready for the challenge,â€ť says McDonald. â€śThe Bloor Cinema has been a cherished home to Hot Docs for the past 12 years and weâ€™re excited to be a part of the revitalization of this much-loved venue. Itâ€™s fantastic for Hot Docs, film lovers and the entire neighbourhood, which will continue to enjoy its own independent film house. This new chapter wouldnâ€™t have been possible without the unwavering dedication of Carm, Paul and their family, and the vision of Blue Ice.â€ť
The current renovations will see upgrades to the cinemaâ€™s technical equipment and sound system, audience seating, faĂ§ade and lobby areas. During this time, Hot Docs will be conducting industry stakeholder and community consultations around proposed plans for the cinema. A feedback address has been set up so that interested parties can begin sharing their feedback.