I’m very excited to have a new theatre in the mix this year. And yet as I type that I am confronted by a new emotion – fear. As a native of the 416 I have had time to familiarize myself with the entrances, exits and most important on a five-movie day, the bathrooms of all of the other theatres that are part of TIFF.
Cumberland, I won’t miss you, your low seats, your swampy bathrooms or your (probably) urine soaked alley line up. You are the cause of many an aggravated case of festival knee and drinking time lost to bathroom lines.
I’ve thought quite a bit (nay too much) about the best approach to The Light(box). If you are heading to The Light from the north, the subway to St. Andrew is a no-brainer. The Yonge-University line is usually air conditioned, has newer material on the seats than the Bloor line and I find it a nice ride assuming everything is running well. There is always a risk of a track level incident resulting in a delay of anywhere from five minutes to much longer, but that is a gamble you have to take when going underground.
If you are heading to The Light from the east or west you have to go King or Queen streetcar, or the ankle express. As a frequent rider of the Queen streetcar I can say that in the summer it has the potential to battle the vomit comet for overall smell and atmosphere approximating a hot sweaty death. Don’t wear white pants. Check the seat (and the floor under the seat) before you sit down. You are as likely to see an open can of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the back of the car on your way to a 9:00 AM movie as you are on your way to a 9:00 PM movie. However I have appreciated the character of this all-night route more than once on my way back from an ill-advised extra round at one of the many bars open until 4:00 AM. There aren’t really many people in a position to judge your stumbles on the Queen car after midnight.
The King car is a bit more of a hit and miss. They don’t run the extra-long accordion/articulated style car on King like they do on Queen, and size does make a difference. For a morning film you will be jammed in with people going to and from work and appointments as this is the main route to the financial district. It will always be jammed if you are heading to a movie at 9:00 AM and between 5-7:00 PM. Many people walk part way. The slowest part of the ride is naturally right in front of the The Light. You have many restaurants, theatres, Metro Hall and the Roy Thompson Hall and Metro Square within spitting distance. It will get messy, and sometimes getting off at Spadina or Peter coming from the west, or Simcoe coming from the east and walking may be faster.
Either way if you have a tight schedule between The Light and any other theatre besides Scotiabank you may have to hustle and think creatively.
Still very excited at the prospect of a brand new set of bathrooms in the mix.