All About Toronto:
Places to watch movies...
Toronto International Film Festival (September)
In early fall, Toronto starts to mirror the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. A multitude of celebs hop in and out of limos just to make it to their premiere on time, or to go to a fabulous party. It is pure bliss for starstruck individuals like myself.
During this week and a half, filmmakers from all around the world show their films to a very film-savvy public. And the audience in turn is presented with cinematic gems that range from artsy to weird, to awe inspiring to very Hollywood.
Even though the Toronto International Film Festival does not receive the media attention like its French counterpart (the Cannes Film Festival), it is safe to assume that its main focus is about promoting film as a work of art.
If you're feeling the need for a foreign flick, or some domestic fare, purchase your festival tickets soon, and experience one of Toronto's biggest treats. ¤ Michelle
Varsity, V.I.P. Cinemas (55 Bloor Street West, Manulife Centre)
In the quest to make movie watching more pleasurable, franchised theaters have popped up everywhere in the past couple of years. Now you have your AMCs, Silvercitys, and Paramounts. It used to be that watching movies was fun. Now it's all about shelling out your hard-earned money for a couple of hours of deafening, sticky-seated, cramped-in-your-chair "thrill ride" that is often less exhilarating than a rickety ride at the CNE.
The good people at Varsity Cinemas thought that if they capitalized on these new cinemas, they too could steal our money by bringing us "quality" entertainment. Unfortunately, they already owned a cinema. But why not add to it? Why not make a separate section and rope it off, charge more money than the regular theatre, and give it a cool name? And thus, the V.I.P. rooms were born.
For Very Important People, the room sure is small. It seats about twenty people per theatre, giving you that cozy, watching-it-at-home feeling. Oh, did I mention that the screens are also as big as your regular home television? On the plus side, the seats are huge, giving you plenty of room to sink into that hard, spasm-inducing chair. You do get your own armrest, as well as a tray to place your food, drinks, candies, cell phone, purse, wallet, baseball bat, income tax return, unfinished novel, and if there's room left, fried chicken. There are several employees who also circle the room taking your food order (smile is optional, depending on whether you tip). To complete the V.I.P. experience, you also get your own washroom. Unfortunately, there isn't anyone in there to wipe your butt for you or to tell you how pretty you are.
The V.I.P. room is worth visiting once to get the experience, but heed my warning, and stay away from repeat performances. ¤ C.Ho.