1006 Bloor Street W,
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Paradise on Bloor (Official)
Previously operated by: Festival Cinemas - Canada
Architects: Benjamin Brown
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Paradise Kino, Nouvo Cinema Paradise, Eve's Paradise, Paradise Cinema
In 1910 a one-story brick theatorium, the Bloor Palace, was built. It was part of the neighborhood’s wave of development around when this section of Bloor Street was paved. It was renamed Kitchener Theatre in 1918.
The Paradise Theatre was built and opened in 1937. It was designed in an Art Deco/Streamline Moderne style by one of Toronto’s earliest practicing Jewish architects Benjamin Brown. It had 643-seats including a balcony where you ‘could smoke if you wished’.
In 1957 a decade of various ownerships began. There is evidence of German (Paradise Kino) and Italian (Nouvo Cinema Paradise). In 1966 it was part of the Italian community hub. A local family, the Giacomini’s purchased the Paradise and operated it as an Italian filmhouse. Every 3-months Francesco Giacomini brought un-subtitled 35mm film prints back from Italy to share with the local audience. In the 1980’s the Giacomini’s leave the movie exhibition business, selling the building, but holding the mortgage. The interim owner leases the Paradise out to the Eves and Edens chain of adult theatre and it is renamed Eve’s Paradise.
In 1990 the Paradise was taken over by the Festival Cinemas chain, which showed repertory and arthouse fare in Toronto’s stalwart single screen venues, including the Bloor Theatre (now Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema), Revue Theatre, Kingsway Theatre and Fox Theatre. It was renamed Paradise Cinema.
The Paradise Cinema was closed in July 2006 when the Festival Cinemas chain ceased business.
In 2018 renovations began and is due to reopen later in 2019 as a multi-use venue which will include movies. However the Covid-19 pandemic which began in March 2020 put a halt to renovations and they recommenced in 2022. The Paradise Theatre was reopened in June 2022 with live performances and classic films on alternate nights.
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