Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sticky Step Twenty-One: The Royal Cinema - 608 College St.

Whizzing past the Gladstone Hotel on the top of a TTC streetcar (as the Human-Lizard), Lucas (as "LuBar") had boldly texted his prospective online romantic interest, known only as "RooBarb," to ask if she'd like to meet over beer and board games. Almost an hour and half later, while standing on top of the marquee of the Royal Cinema in Toronto's Little Italy district on College Street West, Lucas still has no new messages. Of course, he also hasn't encountered any criminal-types either, so the evening's sort of a win/lose so far. Lucky on patrol, unlucky in love.

The Human-Lizard checking his phone on the Royal's marquee.
First opening it's doors in 1939 as The Pylon, and later changed to the Golden Princess, the 390-seat  Art Moderne movie house has become one of Toronto's most-beloved historic landmarks. When faced with the threat of closure in 2007, Theatre D Digital stepped in to upgrade and renovate the theatre into a state of the art screening and live event venue. The cinema also performs double duty as a fully operational film and television post-production studio during daytime hours.

The Royal Cinema at 608 College Street.

To check what's currently playing and coming soon, or to book a private screening, corporate function or live event, visit the Royal's website.

Next up: The Human-Lizard takes a stroll past the Kensington Market Garden Car on Augusta Avenue!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Sticky Step Twenty: The Gladstone Hotel - 1214 Queen St. West

Winter is behind us, spring is here and Sticky Footprints is ready once again to pick up the trail of Jason Loo's forever down on his luck hero in The Pitiful Human-Lizard #2!

Last seen sticking to the wall of Lee's Palace, the second issue opens with Lucas Barrett who, following the TV news piece covering his father's heyday as the local celebrity known as the Lizard-Man, is now recognized around the office as Toronto's newest superhero, enduring the snide comments and condescending inquiries of his boss and co-workers as they try to figure out why Lucas does what he does and why he does it dressed as a lizard. He ignores them, in favour of updating his online dating profile (using the appropriately pitiful sounding online handle, "Lubar.") and while doing so, Lucas comes across the profile of "RooBarb." He strikes up a text conversation with her that goes on sporadically through the afternoon at work, his evening martial arts lesson and even bus ride home afterwards.

The Human-Lizard catches a ride downtown on a TTC streetcar passing by the Gladstone.

As Lucas is prepping for his nightly patrol of the city as the Human-Lizard, the conversation turns to what each of them do for a living and "RooBarb" reveals she's an elementary school teacher. Lucas embellishes his duties as an office drone to Tolkien-esque proportions and, as the eastbound 501 Queen Streetcar he's riding on top of passes by the Gladstone Hotel, he musters the courage to ask "RooBarb" out for a night of board games and beer.

The Gladstone Hotel at 1214 Queen Street West.

Built in 1889, the Gladstone Hotel is the oldest hotel in Toronto to remain operating continuously since it's doors first opened. An impressive feat considering the numerous changes of ownership throughout the hotel's first century and extensive renovations by the current owners in 2005. Thanks to those much needed renos, however, the Gladstone is now renowned not only as a Toronto landmark in it's own right, but also as the city's preeminent boutique art hotel, hosting regular art exhibitions and events celebrating local artists and designers.

For more on the hotel's history, current art exhibitions and events or to book a room, visit the Gladstone Hotel's website.

Up next: The Human-Lizard atop the Royal Cinema's marquee while on patrol in Toronto's Little Italy!