The Toronto-centric blog Paved.ca offers an overview of the issues and responses to the incipient closing of the three neighbourhood theatres operated under the Festival Cinema banner, including the Revue. They also offer a bit of context to the closures (check out their link to the The Royal Theatre’s real estate listing).
One point raised, in both the item itself and an appended comment, is that Festival Cinemas dug its own grave by relying upon ongoing event films like, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or more recently showing mainly Hollywood movies just shortly after their first release. This put them in direct competition with early DVD releases for the bulk of their custom.
Personally, I am not sure if this is the main issue as The Revue’s attraction to me was that I could see a decent movie without travelling downtown, or to the suburbs, for a decent price and in an old-school theatre setting.
François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim.
Further, the experimental and foreign films that once drew a fair number of filmophiles have been for the most part replaced by “independent” films that are, really, in direct competition with the Hollywood blockbusters. Just see the last year’s Oscar list and Brokeback Mountain’s gross revenues.
Brokeback Mountain, a big indepedendent.
I do think the Revue’s slate of films could be diversified more than it currently is—by including more contemporary foreign films, for example—but returning to some film aficionados’ repertory ideal from the 70s and 80s is as nostalgic as expecting to return to the post-WWII glory days of movie-going in Canada—before television, and eventually video and computers, undermined film’s cultural centrality.