The Cumberland 4 – The Worst Movie Theatre in Toronto

Hobbies, Toronto

…and I’ll tell you why.

In the days when the last of the large cinemas were deemed money black holes (bye bye Uptown!), the Cumberland should have been the first to be taken out to a secluded field and glocked in the temple.

The Cumberland’s sound system has the worst sound leakage of any theatre in Toronto. You can hear the Alliance Atlantis promo from adjacent theatres during moderately quiet moments. While Brokeback Mountain was far too quiet for us to understand what Ennis was mumbling, Caché was so loud at times we were pushed back into our seats harder than that poor Memorex ad guy. Apparently the heating is erratic because there are Canadian Tire baseboard plug-in heaters in the aisles (is an electric appliance sitting in a fire route a bad thing?) but the night we went, the room was somewhat warm, making me doze off. And finally, the crowd that goes there, while seemingly more educated than say… oh… a Scarborough multiplex movie viewer, are exceedingly thoughtless and self centred.

At our viewing of Caché, in our row, there was as a woman holding 5 seats in the centre of the aisle. No problem. Three times people pushed past us without asking if the seats were taken only to discover that they had to push back to get out. That wasn’t so bad. When a woman pushed past me and knocked the top of my popcorn bag into my face with her purse I judged that to be pretty bad. No apology. If you’ve been to the movies with me, you know I love extra flavour powder. Sharkboy turns to sit down and looks at me, covered in faux cheese powder from forehead to nipples and takes a kernel from his bag and sops some powder off my shoulder and laughs.

Later, the one of the two women who came in behind us decides it’s snack time. Up she jumps and hits me in the back of the head with her purse. No apology. She did the same thing at the end of the movie too. This time I got a hand on my shoulder and a “Oh sorry, dear” in my ear. Better late than NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.

Finally, I have never been in a theatre where 1/3rd of the audience arrives at least 10 minutes into the film. We’re talking past the opening credits here, people. Not during the ads but during establishing shots. Parking SUVs in the area must be a darned pain.
I guess I am expecting more sophistication from a theatre that shows fine art slides instead of ads before the show. But I know better now. Never again will I go near the Cumberland unless it’s to see bulldozers raze that hell hole flat.

5 thoughts on “The Cumberland 4 – The Worst Movie Theatre in Toronto

  1. Pingback: Dead Robot » Dead Robot

  2. The Woman in Cornburg

    I feel your pain, my sweet.

    That is why Big Daddy and me put ourselves into eternal hock and bought a 60″ HDTV with 5.1 Surround.

    My days of waiting for people to sit down in front of me (with twenty one kids) fifteen minutes after the movie is started is over.

    Then there was the Spanish Dance troupe a few years back who talked very loudly in Spanish throughout the entire movie (either to each other or on their cell phones). We had to go back to see the movie again because we missed 93% of it.

    You have to wait for the movies, but show me a theatre where you can smoke, drink, eat chicken wings and watch the movie nekkid (if so inclined). Oh, and you can pause the action to go pee. Top that, Famous Players.

    Ladies and Gentlemen….welcome to the Cornburg Googliplex!

  3. madamerouge

    I miss the Uptown. I liked it as a theater; I could’ve lived with it as a nightclub (hell, teh gayz really need a new one right about now)… but condos? So depressing.

    I’ll come with you to the razing of the Cumberland. We’ll get, um, popcorn!

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