Last year I posted the theatre venues and seat counts in a post labeled "Things to Remember."
I don't know about you, but my memory is not that stellar. So as I continued to post, those venues sunk further and further down.
This year, I've included them up top as a sidebar column so that they are always available and noticeable. What an idea!!! Brilliant!!!
Wish I had thought of it. That honor goes to the MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS blog. And Blutz is doing me one better. He is including map links to every venue as well as the ticket offices as well. So check out his blog for that an more.
As far as the venues go:
Roy Thomson Hall - host the GALA screenings. That's it. You get to see the stars show up on the red carpet, say a few words before the show and that's it. ZERO chance for a Q&A.
Elgin Theatre - also has a seperate ticket package. Also has ZERO chance for a Q&A. Also has the most psychotically committed ushers to seeking out those trying to take pictures of the stars in the theatre.
Ryerson Theatre - always has a solid lineup of films. The GALA screenings typically have their second screening here the next morning. Q&A are expected just about anytime except for the 9am shows. Stars gotta sleep. Has been the host of the Midnight Madness program since the Uptown was torn down.
Varsity Theatres - a more eccletic mix. Will have a few higher profile films screen in theatre #8. Q&A are plentiful here.
Cumberland Theatres - not going to find many films with mainstream stars here. Haven't experienced any Q&A there either, but I'd figure they probably do happen.
Paramount Theatres - the only theatre that is not within a block or two of a subway stop. You HAVE to give yourself time to get there, unless you are going to spurge on a taxi. Q&A happen frequently. So I have to pick the films wisely and give myself time both before and after.
I have not been to screenings at Jackman Hall, the Royal Ontario Museum and only one at the Isabel Badel Theatre.
Again, seat count is a huge determinate in your quest to get tickets for a film. The Ryerson is ALWAYS the safest choice that you will get tickets b/c of its 1209 seat capacity.
Why not the Elgin since it has 1500? TIFF sells seperate packages for the 6 and 9 pm shows for the Elgin. This dwindles down the available tickets for sale. How many do they sale? Who knows, but surely they sell at least 500, which means at most 1,000 are now available.
Realize that the Ryerson and the Elgin will typically play films with either stars or directors that more of the public has heard of, so there can be more demand, which could hurt your chances.
But I still like my chances at getting tickets for a 6 pm show at the Ryerson over a 6pm show at Varsity 1.
In fact, the past two years, you would have seen a great festival if you did nothing but book films that show at the Ryerson. But what fun would that be? You have to have the thrill of leaving one screening and having only 10 min. to get a mile up Yonge for the next one.
One piece of advice for lovers of Midnight Madness. Forget about 9:30 Galas.
Unless you get lucky enough to pick the rare GALA that is 90 min. or less, you won't be able to get over to the Ryerson in time for the midnight screening.
1)The distance between locations is substantial and will take at least 10 min. by subway, if your lucky and in good running shape.
2) And this is true of most venues. If you're expecting your 9:30 pm Gala to start on time, your fooling yourself. It's not a blight on the festival, just the further the day progresses, the more things naturally start to run behind. Especially at Galas, where the stars have to stop for interviews all the way down the red carpet. Running behind, I have found, has actually been more of a blessing as it's allowed me to get from venue to venue without feeling like I'm going to keel over once I sit down.