G20 disrupts Toronto entertainment sector

12,000 police descend on city for summit of world leaders

TORONTO -- With downtown Toronto expected to be a ghost town this coming weekend during the G20 summit of world leaders, Canadian distributor E1 Entertainment has postponed the local release of Nelofer Pazira's "Act of Dishonor" from June 25 to July 9.

That's the least of inconveniences expected in Toronto as an estimated 12,000 police officers and steel fencing to safeguard U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders turn the city into Cold War-era Berlin.

The north-west corner of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s Toronto broadcast center will serve as a command post for the RCMP and other security personnel.

And a former film studio on Eastern Avenue has been turned into a temporary jail to process G20 protesters that get arrested during the summit.

Elsewhere, live theatre producer Mirvish Productions has chosen to take a $2 million hit as it closes local productions of "Rock of Ages" and "Mamma Mia!" during the G20 summit.

The Second City comedy venue on Mercer Street, inside the security zone where world leaders will convene this weekend, has decided to risk patron inconvenience and remain open, as has the nearby Air Canada Center where violinist Andre Rieu will perform on June 26.

Still, with bisecting and encircling barriers going up between King Street to the north, Spadina Avenue to the west, Lakeshore to the south, and Yonge Street to the east, local and foreign film and TV producers shooting in town have been told by city officials to keep out-of-sight while world leaders are in town.
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