CINEMA and SCANDAL …
VAUDEVILLE, BURLESQUE and RISQUE CINEMA in Toronto
We’re willing to bet you never knew that Toronto had a past this sordid. Today, Toronto is known for “legitimate” theatre. We have the third largest live stage theatre community in the world, after London and New York. We’re nicknamed “Hollywood North” because of all the filming that takes place here for films and television. Every September, we host one of the largest and most important film festivals around the globe. But over the years, cinema, scandal … and sex … came together across the dimly lit stages of Toronto.
Burlesque is making a comeback, and today it seems harmless, but in the middle of the 20th century, the good people of Toronto were shocked by how much you could see on a few of the stages in Toronto. Theatre managers threw aside their inhibitions and cavorted in secret rooms with showgirls, while booking the big acts and earning themselves millions. And in the 1970s, the seediest movies in Toronto flickered across the screens of run down theatres on Yonge Street, right in the heart of the city. If you think that the bright lights of Yonge Street are a little seedy today, you haven’t seen anything yet. At the end of the 1970s, Torontonians finally said “Enough!” to the lascivious scandals, and insisted that police shut down the 75 pornographic cinemas and massage parlours that stretched up Yonge Street between Queen and Bloor streets.
You’ll be shocked at what was shut down in the clean-up!
SOME OF THE LEGENDEARY LUMINARIES YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT ON THIS TOUR INCLUDE …
Things You will Need to Know about this Tour
- It begins outside the Rainbow Cinema at Market Square, located at 80 Front Street East, between Church and Jarvis streets.
- This tour is 2½ hours long, and finishes near Yonge and Gerrard streets.
- This tour is conducted entirely outdoors.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO CALL AHEAD BEFORE COMING ON ANY OF TOURS, TO CONFIRM TOUR AVAILABILITY. AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT BY CHECKING WITH US BEFORE THE TOUR BEGINS.
If you have any more questions, just ask!
DATES AND TIMES
Saturdays at 6.00 p.m.
Sundays at 6.00 p.m or by request.
This tour is available throughout the entire calendar year. REMEMBER, if it is not scheduled for when you want to do it, just let us know, and we’ll change our schedule just for you! We suggest making reservations at least 24 hours before the tour starts.
$25.00 for one or two people
$20.00 each for three or four people
$15.00 each for five or more
Students and Youth – $10 for Elementary & High School Students
We offer GIFT CERTIFICATES and special discount passes for visitors who plan to attend more than one tour. Contact us to find out more information.