History

The cinema opened its doors as a film house on December 23, 1913 under the name Madison Theatre, making it one of the first picture palaces in Toronto.

By the end of the decade, the Madison was joined in the Annex neighbourhood by Allen’s Bloor Theatre (now Lee’s Palace) and the Alhambra Theatre, both opening in 1919 near the Bloor and Bathurst intersection.

History Madison

In 1940, under the management of 20th Century Theatres, the Madison was demolished and rebuilt according to the plans of prolific theatre architects Kaplan & Sprachman. All that remained of the original theatre were its two side walls.

History Midtown Army

In 1941, the newly rebuilt venue opened as the Midtown and remained a popular neighborhood cinema through the 1940s and 1950s, famous for packed weekend matinees and horror double-bills.

History Midtown 1945

By the mid-1960s, theatre admissions across Toronto had declined, and in 1967 the Midtown, under the management of Famous Players, was renamed the Capri. The theatre continued the Midtown’s programming approach until 1973 when, re-christened as the Eden, it switched to heavily-censored adult films.

History Midtown Int 1945

In 1979, Famous Players closed down the Eden and re-opened it as the Bloor Theatre, offering first-run films for an increasingly family-oriented neighborhood.

History Bloor Carm

Within a year, the Bloor Theatre closed and was taken over by Carm Bordonaro and his partners, introducing memberships, classic and genre film programming, and packed houses. When Carm left, the Cinema became part of the Festival Cinemas chain until 1999, when Carm and his brother Paul returned to manage the venue.

History Bloorhistory 8

In 2010, the Bordonaro family purchased the building to ensure its survival as a cinema. In 2011, the Bordonaros found a like-minded buyer for the struggling cinema in Toronto-based Blue Ice Group, a film financing and production company, and its partner, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

History Bhdc

After renovations, the theatre reopened in March 2012 under the management of Hot Docs as the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, becoming a year-round home for first-run Canadian and international documentaries, as well as special documentary presentations and showcases, including the popular Doc Soup screening series.

History Rogers

In June 2016, a generous gift from the Rogers Family enabled Hot Docs to purchase the cinema from the Blue Ice Group, and continue to offer audiences the best in documentary programming at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.