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Injunction to keep Toronto's Revue Cinema open extended to October

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An injunction standing between the Revue Cinema and possible eviction has been extended to the fall, the group that operates the historic theatre in Toronto’s west end announced Friday.

In a news release, the Revue Film Society said the court is expected to make a decision on the fate of the Roncesvalles institution on Oct. 30, after it was granted an injunction to stay open late last month.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of community support over the past week,” wrote Grant Oyston, chair of the Revue Film Society. “It’s clear that the community cares deeply about the Revue Cinema, and overwhelmingly wants it to remain in the community, operated as a non-profit organization, with the wonderful staff and programmers we have today.”

The Revue Film Society sought the injunction after their landlord refused to renew a lease that was set to expire last week.

Danny and Leticia Mullin, who bought the theatre in 2007, allege the tenants haven’t kept up with the necessary repairs at the designated heritage site.

"We want to get rid of the board, bring it back to private sector. It's very simple," Mullin told CTV News Toronto when news of the proposed eviction broke. "Why do we need the board? They've never done nothing. Every time we sign a new lease, they never fulfill the lease. They're supposed to do work, do the seats; they never do nothing."

For the Revue Film Society’s part, they say they’ve operated the theatre as a non-profit organization since the Mullins' purchase 17 years ago and much of the screening equipment belongs to the group.

"We've made significant investments in things like a digital projector, which is a sizable and expensive piece of equipment, the sound system, a lot of the point of sale systems," Oyston said late last month.

Oyston previously told CTV News Toronto that the society agreed last year to a nearly 50 per cent rent increase to renew their lease, which would bring their rent to $15,000 a month.

Leticia Mullin pointed out that she and Danny have only raised the rent by $3,200 over the past 17 years.

News of the Revue Cinema’s potential closure triggered an immediate response from the public and a petition to keep the theatre open has already received more than 22,000 signatures at time of writing.

Meanwhile, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, who has shot a number of movies in Toronto, tweeted at Mayor Olivia Chow to save the site.

“@MayorOliviaChow Can you help save the REVUE, one of Canada's most beloved, non-profit, cultural landmarks?” the Oscar-winning filmmaker wrote, adding “If not you, WHO can help? Or HOW can I help?”

The Revue has been in operation as a cinema since 1912 and sits on Roncesvalles Avenue south of Dundas Street West. 

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