There are many movie theaters throughout Toronto and the GTA. Most of the theaters focus on current Hollywood releases, but there are some that feature older releases at reduced rates, or specialize in Bollywood or foreign films.
Most theaters offer a range of refreshments from popcorn and drinks, to candy, to pizza and hot dogs. Outside food is not permitted. Admission prices vary, but matinees and Tuesday show times are generally cheaper. Special rates for students and seniors may apply.
Some major theaters are as follows:
- Alliance Atlantis: http://www.allianceatlantiscinemas.com
Features Hollywood releases and big budget films.
- AMC: http://www.amctheatres.com
A multiscreen cinema that features major Hollywood releases.
- Cineplex: http://www.cineplex.com
Major releases can be found at this theatre.
- Empire: http://www.empiretheatres.com
This cinema specializes in offbeat films, foriegn films, and popular releases.
- Encore: https://www.film.ca
Big movies. Small prices.
- Golden: http://www.albioncinemas.com
These theatres show a combination of Hollywood and Bollywood fare.
- Rainbow: http://www.rainbowcinemas.ca
A second run movie house that shows slightly recent releases at reduced prices.
For a complete listing of movie theaters, movies playing and show times in and around Toronto go to http://www.toronto.com/.
Buying tickets in advance is welcome at any theatre. Most movie theatres in Toronto allow you to purchase tickets online, using their respective website. All Toronto theatres offer customer service counters, and most have installed ticket printing kiosks, for those in a hurry to secure a seat.
Foreign films in Toronto are usually subtitled in English, as opposed to dubbed. It is a good idea, however to call the theatre beforehand or check their website to determine whether or not the film you’d like to see is subtitled.
Toronto is also home to one of the world’s best film festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival. To learn more about this event go to http://www.tiffg.ca.
While drive-in cinemas were once very popular, most have since closed down to make way for new developments. There are still a few left however, and they are generally open throughout the summer, and closed in early to late fall.
- Docks Drive-In: http://www.thedocks.com
- North York Drive-In: http://www.northyorkdrivein.com
- 5 Drive-In: http://www.5drivein.com (open year-round)
Found in most department stores, movies and music can also be purchased at specialty stores. Book stores often carry a range of music. For genre-specific music it is best to search for an independent store that specializes in that type of music. Most genres are carried at large chain outlets such as HMV (http://www.hmv.ca).
Movies can be purchased at a variety of locations. Many people prefer to frequent video rental outlets such as Blockbusters, Jumbo Video (http://www.jumbovideo.com), or Rogers Video (http://www.rogersvideo.ca). Prices range between $3 and $5, depending on how recently the DVD was released.
Toronto is home to several world-famous theatres, including the Royal Alexandra Theater, the Panasonic Theatre, the Princess of Wales Theatre, and the Canon Theatre. These theatres call all be found in Toronto’s downtown entertainment district, and usually offer high-end fare including first run musicals, popular touring acts, and big budget cultural events. Tickets for these events can, and should, be purchased in advance, either by calling the venue directly, or purchasing tickets from their websites. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per ticket.
Toronto’s Second City is a popular comedy venue that features sketch and improvised comedy. It is a historic theatre, with a large number of theatre alumni who have moved on to become popular North American entertainers. Ticket prices range from $12 to $25, with free improv sets performed at around 10:30 PM, from Tuesday to Friday, and 12:00 AM, on Saturdays. They can be purchased in advance, either by calling the theatre or clicking on their website.
These are, by no means, the only theatre acts in Toronto. There are, literally, to many to list. For a comprehensive list of theatres and current shows, visit http://www.torontolivetheatre.com.
Prices vary widely, with professional theatres charging higher rates while theatre schools and amateur groups tend to be more reasonably priced. In addition to theatre productions for general audiences, there are several playhouses that specialize in productions for children. Try checking out the following theatres for a family outing:
- Lorraine Kisma Theater for Young People: http://www.lktyp.ca
- Solar Stage Children’s Theatre: http://www.solarstage.on.ca
In addition to traditional live theatre, Toronto offers a wide range of musical productions. Opera is quite popular, with many opera companies offering a wide range of shows throughout the year. You can find out about most opera productions in Toronto. The Toronto Opera Company also offers a series of free concerts at http://www.coc.ca/.
In addition to opera, Toronto has a wide range of other musical events. If you enjoy classical music, check out concerts by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (http://www.tso.ca), the Toronto Children’s Chorus (http://www.torontochildrenschorus.com), and the Royal Conservatory of Music (http://www.rcmusic.ca). For Jazz lovers, the annual Maple Blues Award (http://www.mapleblues.ca) presentation is a worthwhile event. Toronto is a popular stop for many well-known music celebrities from all musical genres.
Another popular entertainment option is dance. Toronto is home to the National Ballet of Canada (http://www.national.ballet.ca), which holds a variety of performances throughout the year. The Toronto Dance Theatre (http://www.tdt.org) offers many modern forms of dance productions.
For those who want to participate through a dance club or taking dance lessons, there are dozens of venues throughout the GTA. Check out http://www.torontodance.com for an extensive listing of dance events, clubs, and schools.
Tickets for most events can be purchased at Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.ca). There is also the occasional free concert, so keep your eyes peeled.
- Toronto Wide: A great website that gives you the big picture on what to do in the Big Smoke
- Now Magazine: One of Toronto’s most widely-read free entertainment magazines
- Eye Weekly: Another excellent free Toronto Weekly
- Toronto Life: A monthly magazine and website that focuses on all things Toronto
- The Torontoist: A website all about Toronto and the things that happen in it