Metro Theatre – Once in the Koreatown Neighbourhood

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2022 - Metro Theatre was once located at 677 Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side. Today, the former theatre building is home to Basecamp Climbing Bloor West
2022 – Metro Theatre was once located at 677 Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side. Today, the former theatre building is home to Basecamp Climbing Bloor West

Metro Theatre was once located at 677 Bloor St W (between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side) in Toronto’s Koreatown neighbourhood.

Built in 1938, architects Kaplan & Sprachman designed the 700-seat, Art Deco-style theatre for Manny Stein. When it opened in the spring of the following year, the Metro was a glamourous one-screen movie house. One of the first movies it played was Delinquent Parents.

By the late-1960s, the Toronto Yellow Pages show the theatre was renamed Metro Olympia and later in the decade to Metro Acropolis Theatre.

In 1979, the 5,450 square-foot theatre was sold. It reverted to its original name and began showing adult entertainment and films.

It was rumoured that Al Pacino sat in one of the theatre’s seats for a scene in the 1989 film Sea of Love. The movie also featured Metro Theatre’s “XXX” marquee.

When the Eden (today’s Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema) closed in the late 1970s and the Eve (once the Alhambra) closed in the mid-1980s, the Metro was Toronto’s last adult big-screen cinema. Eventually, the theatre had three cinemas inside, including the Metro, Riviera and Emanuelle. In the 1990s, the space was also used to show kung fu classic films.

While the theatre had been on the real estate market for several years, in 2012, Metro’s owners gave it a makeover. The pink, red and teal interior got a fresh coat of paint, and the white crown moulding, stucco ceiling, gold sailboat and Grecian-style wall art were left as is.

In 2013, Metro Theatre closed when it was sold for $2.9 million. The former theatre was transformed into climbing walls, and today, it’s home to Basecamp Climbing Bloor West.

Metro Theatre Photos

1939 - Metro Theatre, once located at 677 Bloor St W, during its opening year. On the marquee, "Delinquent Parents," starring Doris Weston, Maurice Murphy and Helen MacKellar, was playing
1939 – Metro Theatre, once located at 677 Bloor St W, during its opening year. On the marquee, “Delinquent Parents,” starring Doris Weston, Maurice Murphy and Helen MacKellar, was playing (City of Toronto Archives, Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 350)
1940s – The screen and auditorium at the Metro Theatre
1940s – The screen and auditorium at the Metro Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 110)
1940s – The auditorium at the Metro Theatre
1940s – The auditorium at the Metro Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 350)
1940s - Metro Theatre advertising their coming attractions near the front doors. On the signs, "Unfinished Business," starring Irene Dunne, Robert Montgomery, and Preston Foster and "Gung Ho," starring Randolph Scott, Alan Curtis and Noah Beery Jr
1940s – Metro Theatre advertising their coming attractions near the front doors. On the signs, “Unfinished Business,” starring Irene Dunne, Robert Montgomery, and Preston Foster and “Gung Ho,” starring Randolph Scott, Alan Curtis and Noah Beery Jr (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 110)
1940s – The entrance and ticket booth at the Metro Theatre
1940s – The entrance and ticket booth at the Metro Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 110)
1940s - Metro Theatre was once located at 677 Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side. On the marquee, "Christmas in Connecticut," starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sydney Greenstreet and Dennis Morgan and "Whistle Stop," starring George Raft, Ava Gardner and Victor McLaglen were playing
1940s – Metro Theatre was once located at 677 Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side. On the marquee, “Christmas in Connecticut,” starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sydney Greenstreet and Dennis Morgan and “Whistle Stop,” starring George Raft, Ava Gardner and Victor McLaglen were playing (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 110)
2022 - Looking southwest from Bloor St W towards Manning Ave. The former Metro Theatre is the second building from the corner, beside P.A.T. Central
2022 – Looking southwest from Bloor St W towards Manning Ave. The former Metro Theatre is the second building from the corner, beside P.A.T. Central
Undated photo – Looking southeast towards Metro Theatre was once located at 677 Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side
Undated photo – Looking southeast towards Metro Theatre was once located at 677 Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 110)
2012 - Metro Theatre at 677 Bloor St W advertising the three cinemas
2012 – Metro Theatre at 677 Bloor St W advertising the three cinemas (Google Maps)
2015 - Looking southwest towards the former Metro Theatre under renovations
2015 – Looking southwest towards the former Metro Theatre under renovations (Google Maps)
2020 - Basecamp Climbing Bloor West is located at 677 Bloor St W, in the former Metro Theatre building
2020 – Basecamp Climbing Bloor West is located at 677 Bloor St W, in the former Metro Theatre building
2021 - The former Metro Theatre building located on Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side
2021 – The former Metro Theatre building located on Bloor St W, between Manning Ave and Clinton St on the south side
2022 - Looking southeast towards the building once home to Metro Theatre at 677 Bloor St W
2022 – Looking southeast towards the building once home to Metro Theatre at 677 Bloor St W
2022 - Basecamp Climbing Bloor West, once home to Metro Theatre, is located at 677 Bloor St W
2022 – Basecamp Climbing Bloor West, once home to Metro Theatre, is located at 677 Bloor St W
2022 - Looking southwest along Bloor St W towards Manning Ave
2022 – Looking southwest along Bloor St W towards Manning Ave
1939 - A drawing of Metro Theatre's floor plan and facade
1939 – A drawing of Metro Theatre’s floor plan and facade (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 110)
1940 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of the Metro Theatre
1940 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of the Metro Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1972 - The Toronto Yellow Pages showing the address and phone number of the Metro Olympia Theatre
1972 – The Toronto Yellow Pages showing the address and phone number of the Metro Olympia Theatre
1978 - The Toronto Yellow Pages showing the address and phone number of the Metro Acropolis Theatre
1978 – The Toronto Yellow Pages showing the address and phone number of the Metro Acropolis Theatre
1986 - The Toronto Yellow Pages showing the address and phone number of the Metro Theatre
1986 – The Toronto Yellow Pages showing the address and phone number of the Metro Theatre
Source
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Apr 8, 1939, pg 4
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Mar 18, 2006, pg M5
  • Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Dec 30, 2011, pg GT3
  • Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Aug 4, 2012, pg E7
  • Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Mar 9, 2015, pg GT4
  • Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
  • Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives
  • Street Photo: Google Maps
  • Toronto City Directory 1940 courtesy of Toronto Public Library
  • Toronto Yellow Pages 1972, 1978 & 1986

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