Yesterday, while wandering around in the frigid weather I stopped at Scotiabank Theatre to catch a movie. Once the movie ended and I bundled back up to tackle the cold I began to reminisce on when this was the Paramount Theatre and it was the perhaps centrepiece of the Entertainment District when it was completed back in 1999. It was a part of Festival Hall which is now known as Rio Can Hall.
I remember watching Citytv News hyping up the opening of this theatre because its opening was coinciding with the release with Star Wars Episode 1: Phantom Menace. They interviewed fans who were lined up for days to watch this new generation of Star Wars films and I’ll be honest I thought those people were crazy however, I respected their dedication. I believe the theatre had screenings of Phantom Menace from midnight straight until the next night!
I finally watched a movie there for the first time about a month after Paramount opened and it really was a wonderland especially being a teenager before smartphones ruled our worlds. The fun just didn’t stop there though because right next door, where Marshalls now stands, was Playdium Toronto! 3 floors of games of all sorts it was heavenly. You would charge your card on the ground floor and just go nuts after that. Sadly, the fun and games didn’t last and Playdium was vacated maybe a couple of years after it opened. But good times were had!
I recall Playdium then transforming into a club called Lucid which was the place to be for a few years before its doors closed and morphed into the megaclub Circa, a playground for electronic music fans. Although it shut down its website is still active http://www.circatoronto.com/default.html if you wish to relive those days go right ahead. Skip ahead to today and it is now a Marshalls location. Man where does all the time go.
To this day I still call it Paramount Theatre (just like it will forever be the SKYDOME to me not the Rogers Centre) and I’ll pass by Marshalls and just call it Playdium or Lucid like it was yesterday. It is mind-blowing how this May marks 15 years since Paramount’s inception.
It is pretty clear I am just a sucker for fond memories. Those were good times when the Entertainment District or Clubbing District in Toronto actually was that rather than just more and more condos/lofts with some bars/clubs scattered around.
Like the Bunkers would say….’Those Were the Days!’