Mt. Pleasant, Regent given heritage status by T&EY Council

Toronto and East York Council has voted Tuesday to designate the Mt. Pleasant and Regent Theatres as heritage sites on a motion by Josh Matlow (Ward 22)  The two old movie houses date from the mid 1920s when a night at the cinema was high entertainment for a suburban family. The Mt. Pleasant was born as the Hudson Theatre and carried the name until 1951 when for reasons not recorded it was changed to the Mt. Pleasant. The original name seems to have had its origin in the Hudson telephone exchange. The name Hudson lives on south of Eglinton in business names and a street name. The Regent was born as the Belsize, a suitable name for a theatre beside the elegant street of the same name. Later it was famous as the live-entertainment Crest Theatre and then the Regent. There is much joy expressed on Facebook Tuesday that these two landmarks have a chance at survival. Times are not especially propitious for an expensive re-make of either building nor is it an easy job at the best of times. Public-spirited businesses renovated the Bayview Playhouse. The first such benefactor was the Bruno’s grocery chain and later Shoppers Drug Mart. On Bloor Street West, the beautiful Runnymede Theatre was saved by Chapters before it went bankrupt. Once again Shoppers volunteered and turned the Runnymede into a very pleasant drugstore.