Toronto's Carlton Cinema to reopen

Canada's top art house multiplex closed in December

TORONTO -- Canadian cinema chain Magic Lantern Theatres is to reopen Carlton Cinema in Toronto.

Rival Cineplex Odeon closed Canada's top art house multiplex in December after it screened indie titles on its nine screens since 1981.

Cineplex Odeon stepped away from the cozy Carlton Cinema and its tiny auditoriums to focus on larger multiplexes with stadium seating and other bells and whistles.

Edmonton-based Magic Lantern is to retrofit and reopen the multiplex in June, and program art and alternative films and local film festivals.

Despite the indie film recession, the reopening of the Carlton promises still more screens for art house film in Toronto.

The Cumberland Theatre in Yorkville has four screens, and the Royal Theatre on College Street serves as the go-to theater for indie distributors looking to release local and foreign titles, many foreign-language fare.

And Bell Lightbox, the Toronto International Film Festival, is set to start screening art house fare and hosting local film festivals on another five screens, likely in late 2010.

Magic Lantern currently runs 16 theaters with a total 87 screens nationwide.