Monday, September 13, 2010

The Bell Lightbox: TIFF's New Home

For over 30 years, TIFF has been hoteling all of its 300 films throughout various multiplexes across downtown, but now the world renowned festival can finally lay its cinematic hat and call the Bell Lightbox its home.

Yesterday, festival organizers held a massive block party at King and John to publicly unveil its new 5-storey headquarters, which houses 5 cinemas, 2 galleries, 2 restaurants, a lounge and several educational and film archive facilities (a 46-storey condominium known as the Festival Tower also sits on top of the building).

I was personally impressed with how bright and spacious the building is. The theatres are very comfortable with plenty of leg room, the gallery currently showcases an incredible array of international movie memorabilia both vintage and recent, and the restaurants and lounge are posh and cozy. Both cinephiles and casual film lovers can easily spend half a day at the unique complex.

If you're in the downtown core, be sure to visit the Bell Lightbox. It's another reason for Toronto to be proud of its extraordinary arts culture.

1 comment:

  1. Shame on the festival and Toronto. The new TIFF home is a boring box (just like its name) juxtaposed in the middle of a nondescript mid-way of a playground for the eternally sophomoric. It is a non-inspirational four-wall urban beast on a block of city property. The old cinemas the festival used to show in had character and reflected back to a time of the glamor and elegance. Cineplexes have robbed that too but the grand old theaters are gone. Screenings at Roy Thompson Hall come close. The new Light Box is about as forward architecturally as any steel and glass government office tower in so many cookie cutter downtowns. What is it with the new cultural centers of this city that renders them without imagination and with the barren excitement of granite colored shoeboxes? Koerner Hall, and The Four Seasons Centre are examples of this anti-aesthetic. I want to be as excited by the outer presence of a complex as I am about what is inside. The reality is that many will never get inside, why not afford them the chance to be inspired simply by looking at the building? Yawn.

    That said your pictures are as always the most candid and colorfully exciting portrayals of Toronto's beautiful urban reality.