NorthRonces.com has received a comment to one of our entries on the Revue Cinema closure. Specifically, it was a response from “a friend of the owner” to the Revue Cinema manager’s appeal for creative ideas about saving the Revue as a neighbourhood cinema—a goal that NorthRonces.com shares. Here is the “friends” comment in full:
As a friend of the owners, I thought you should be better informed:
The rep theatre business is not a viable business nor has it been for over 15 years – changing the business model is not going to make much of a difference.
If you really want to save these theatres then convincing the city to BUY them and run then as community centre would be a more REASONABLE and REALISTIC goal.
By the way, there is no manager of operations and not all the managers think this is a viable business
Friend of the owner
My own personal response to this comment is why should I—as a friend of North Roncesvalles and the Revue Cinema—take the owner’s, or the owner’s friend’s, word that the “rep theatre business” is not viable? I would ask, viable according to whose terms, business plan or goals?
Obviously, it is in the current owner’s best interest to convince the general public that they have tried their best and have no other option but to close the theatre and sell off the property. It plays better than admitting they are not interested in a business that requires alot of love and effort and does not guarantee massive profits.
I am beginning to think that the owners realize that because of its history selling off the Revue Cinema may be more difficult than selling the Royal Theatre (which is already listed for sale on-line at $2.7 million). Both the threat of community outrage and action, as well as a possible heritage designation, might get in the way of an easy and lucrative sale as both tend to drag down the asking price.
It is for this reason that I think that the owners are taking it slowly and having their friends present the inevitability of the theatre’s end—unless of course the City of Toronto “buys” the building. Looking at the history of neighbourhood theatres in Toronto, this last option is highly unlikely. What is more probable is finding someone who does want to run the theatre as a film theatre, especially if the price is right.