Bayview Village Cinema
2901 Bayview Avenue,
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Architects: Hubert Laureyssens
The 4-screen Bayview Village Cinema was opened by Famous Players on December 21, 1977. Screen 1 had 300-seats, Screen 2 had 287-seats, Screen 3 had 262-seats and Screen 4 had 267-seats. It was taken over by Alliance Atlantic Cinemas on April 21, 2000. I have a couple of advertisements for this cinema, “Rollover” and “Buddy Buddy” from the Toronto Star dated December 11, 1981.
Story from Insidetoronto.com dated May 8, 2007.
Bayview Village Cinema closes its doors.
Gabriel Chan was taken aback when he was informed his church, which had been holding services at Bayview Village Cinemas for two years, had two weeks to find a new location because the North York movie theatre was shutting down.
Chan, the Sunday operations manager for Westside Community Church, said he was told by the theatre’s manager April 15 the theatre would close at the end of the month and the church would have to find a new location for its 150 members.
The church used the space on Sunday mornings before the regular movie-going crowd would arrive for the afternoon matinees.
“It was unexpected,” said Chan, adding the church had previously discussed moving to a bigger venue to accommodate its growing congregation, but had planned to stay at the Bayview Avenue and Sheppard Avenue theatre for a while longer.
Coincidentally, Chan said the church had previously looked into relocating to the movie theatre at Empress Walk in the Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue area, and ended up securing space there after receiving notice from Bayview Village Cinemas, avoiding temporary cancellation of Sunday service.
“The timing was pretty good,” he said. “We always see this as not a coincidence, but that God has a plan.”
Chan said he wasn’t told the reason of the abrupt closure, but heard rumours relating to a lease renewal dispute.
The four-screen theatre, acquired by Alliance Atlantis from Famous Players in 2000, had been a staple in the community since opening, often showing foreign films and movies appealing to the area’s large Jewish population.
Bayview Village referred media calls to Pat Marshall of Cineplex Entertainment, who did not return The Mirror’s call by deadline Tuesday.
The cinema, with smaller screens than today’s modern theatres, offered espresso, fresh baking, memberships and had a friendly staff.
North York has seen its fair share of movie theatre closures over the past several years. Four theatres have closed since 1998, including the Sheridan Theatre at Sheppard Avenue and Weston Road, the Madison 5 at Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue, the Centerpoint Cinema at Steeles Avenue and Yonge Street and the Cineplex Odeon theatre at Finch Avenue and Dufferin Street.
Movie theatres remaining in North York include Sheppard Grande and Empress Walk at Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue, Rainbow Cinemas at Fairview Mall at Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue and Silvercity Yorkdale at Dufferin Street and Highway 401.
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