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Right now I need help to fight these charges. Just drop by for a program and make a donation to the war chest. It will be much appreciated.–Reg Hartt

Earlier this month, the now 70-year-old Hartt announced that the Cineforum is dead. The reason? Toronto’s government issued him a notice that they consider him in violation of zoning regulations, as they say he’s running a “public art gallery” in his home. Hartt insists he is not running a public art gallery, and has never run one. Instead, “The Cineforum, indeed the whole house, is itself a work of art, a living, breathing work of art,” Hartt says.

“That it is.”–Ed Keenan, TORONTO STAR.

This is a long post because the roots of all this go back nearly twenty years.

“I have been offered $30 a week to tear down your posters, $100 to break your legs and $1000 to kill you,” a street person I had helped told me just before Christmas 2017. He added, “If I have been offered this others have.”

Can’t argue with that.

I shut my program down for January and February 2018. I resumed it Saturday and Sunday, March 17 & 18 with KID DRACULA (NOSFERATU scored to RADIOHEAD).

“May I use the internet?” asked a man at the Sunday, March 18 presentation.

I give an introduction to my programs. When I finished the introduction to KID DRACULA and walked out of the screening area this person was just coming down the stairs from the second floor. I had spoken for 30 minutes.

He did not stay to watch the program.

At the end of May 2018 early in the morning a squad of police officers from SEX CRIMES arrived at my door with a warrant which stated that “On or about March 18 child pornography had been downloaded to my IP address.”

At that moment I showed the police the files related to my research into Jesse Marsson Dumanch. When asked why I had them I replied, “Research.”

The police said, “We don’t accept that.”

They were right not to. That is a matter for the court to decide.


What is true is that there has been a near twenty year effort to bring violence upon myself.  This is not paranoia. It is a matter of public record. I have withstood a withering assault upon myself. Nor am I the only person who has been targeted.

This is, as far as I am concerned, part of that assault.

Those behind the attacks have been frustrated because many, many people around the world appreciate and value what I have done and am doing.

Samaritans were viewed as so sinful that the hand of God reaching down into the mire could not raise them to the depths of degradation. The meaning of this parable is that help will not come from those who duty is to help. They will pass us by. Help when it comes will come from those viewed by the Pharisees (priests/politicians) and Scribes (lawyers) as beneath contempt. I am not saying all priests/politicians and scribes/lawyers have that attitude. While it is true many do the best, thankfully, do not.–Reg Hartt

One person said to me, “This storm will pass.”

That was a few years ago. The storm continues to rage. It continues to do an awful lot of damage.

I created THE CINEFORUM as a work of art. David Wencer on HERITAGE TORONTO in a post now removed wrote, “The culture of the time also meant that many controversial films were unknown to Toronto audiences. Hartt was the first in Toronto to screen “Boys in the Sand,” a 1971 gay pornographic film which achieved some crossover success, and which is often linked to galvanizing the gay liberation movement in North American cities. By screening films it wasn’t possible for Torontonians to see anywhere else, Hartt was able to launch discussions that people in Toronto might otherwise not have had. The fact that Hartt still chooses to launch these discussions literally, at his screenings, sometimes rankles his audience, particularly those who “just want to see a movie.” The clue is in the name, however: Cineforum. Rather than making theatre-going a passive experience, Hartt creates a genuine forum in the ancient Roman sense, wherein people are encouraged to challenge not only the films that he screens, but the ideas and opinions he expresses. Media accounts of the Cineforum are invariably written from an intensely personal perspective, because visiting the Cineforum is an intensely personal experience, where the audience, no matter what size, is always treated as the individuals that they are, and not as a homogenous group of people with a single thought. Unsurprisingly then, one of the Cineforum’s longtime supporters was Jane Jacobs, the late activist who promoted individual communities within an urban mosaic. This unorthodox way of screening films has lead to Hartt being considered a polarizing figure in Toronto, often branded as “controversial” or even “crazy.” Hartt is certainly in no hurry to rid himself of these labels.”

When I screened BOYS IN THE SAND (1972) at Rochdale College in the 1970s it was then illegal to show explicit sexual activity. There was a caveat. Such screenings were illegal only if an admission were charged. My screenings were free and thus legal.

The same is true now of my use of the material related to Jesse Dumanch.


(6) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section if the act that is alleged to constitute the offence

  • (a)has a legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or to science, medicine, education or art; and
  • (b)does not pose an undue risk of harm to persons under the age of eighteen years.

The educational value of my work has been long established.



They fuck you up your mum and dad


David Wencer, Heritage Toronto on Cineforum & Reg Hartt

I have an excellent lawyer. His name is Mitch Engel.

“Lawyer Mitch Engel says his 72-year-old client “will vigorously defend himself” against the two counts of possessing child pornography, two counts of accessing child pornography and one count of making child pornography levied against him last year.

“Hartt is currently free on bail but prohibited from accessing the Internet or frequenting public places known to attract minors.

“’There were a few images on his computer and it was not the worst form of child pornography,’ said Engel in an interview on Friday.

“’His home is open as it shows films in the 40-seat Cineforum theatre and the rest of the house is available,” said Engel. “His home was open to the public. There are defences available to him in this case. He’s pleading not guilty and contesting these allegations.‘”

This is Jesse Marsson Dumanch. His mother was a prostitute on an army base in Germany. She gave her son from an early age to the police, to politicians, to business people, to everyone who wanted him. His story is horrendous. It is also all too common. As children who do we trust more than our mother?

I grew up in the 1950s. As every queer person who grew up in that era (and before) knows it was a nightmare. I spent years viewing myself as a monster (something common to children. Boris Karloff got an avalanche of mail throughout his life from children who identified with his portrayal of the Frankenstein monster).

Suicide was a constant companion.

Finally I learned to think for myself, something only 2% of the world’s population does.

One of the many people who came to me screenings and asked to live with me was Aditya Shankar from India. Adi came for my animation festival. He was the only person here. Afterwards we talked. Adi asked if I was married and had kids, “Not in the conventional sense. I’m queer,” I told him.

Adi said, “Oh, I knew I was gay when I was 8 in Bombay.”

Adi served as head of SATHI, Gay Youth India. He fought intolerance in India from THE CINEFORUM:

Jane Jacobs, the author of THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES, first came to my programs the year she arrived in Toronto with her family, 1968. That same year students in Paris rioted over the ousting of Henri Langlois from the Paris Cinemetheque. Reading about it I decided to give Toronto a program like the one Langlois gave Paris. GREG WILLIAMS, MA (Ph, D. Candidate), President, University College Film Society, and Chairman of the Subcommittee for film, U. C. Symposium: I wish we had more time to chat together last night about our respective (and mutual) interests in film.
‘Cineforum’ has attained the status of an institution; it represents an achievement of which you should rightly feel proud.
“I can only hope the ‘University College Film Society’ will someday approximate its success and that I will, personally, match your inspired delivery as a master of ceremonies.
“As a newcomer to the business of arranging film programs, so far I am your equal perhaps only in enthusiasm. Thus I find your presentations to be not only exceptional in their content but also edifying in their execution. As an academic (in the field of English) I am also impressed by the high scholarly standard that pervades your informed and witty introductions,





































The files on my computer relate to my research into Jesse Marsson Dumanch. Dumanch’s mother was a prostitute on a U.S. Army base in Germany. From an early age she offered her son to any and all who wanted him. With a mother like that we either become someone great or a wreck.

Jessie Marsson Ritueller Kindesmißbrauch

jessie marsson – Pädophilie… ritueller Missbrauch von Kindern

#Pedogate Deutschland! Jessie Marsson- Doch kein Fake? Ritueller Kindesmissbrauch

Jessie Marsson

New video by Jessie Marsson popped up

Jessie Marsson, victim of multiple ritual abuse, arrested in Augsburg

Jessie Marsson in court in Augsburg

There has been a long standing attack in Toronto on myself and others. It is documented here as is my conflict with city authorities brought on by complaints from the person behind the attacks who has also lodged a separate criminal complaint against myself.

The founder of a landmark alternative theatre in downtown Toronto is refusing to back down in the face of a poster-bullying campaign that seems designed to bring violence upon him and his associates.



 August 25, 2010 at 9:30 am


The Cineforum Is Dead! Long Live the Cineforum!

By John Semley

For his part, Reg Hartt is insistent that the Cineforum is not, strictly speaking, a cinema. “It’s a school, not a theatre,” he tells us, before elaborating to say that he considers it more of a public forum for learning about and discussing ideas, comparing it to Gertrude Stein’s Parisian salon. But the fact remains that a large part of the space’s function is screening films for which attendees pay admission. Thus, according to Elizabeth Glibbery, the Toronto and East York Manager of the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division, it operates as a place of public assembly, for which the building is not zoned.”[He is] inviting in people who may not be known to him,” Glibbery told us, when asked how a group of people gathered at the Cineforum differs from a group of friends gathered to watch a DVD at any other apartment in the Toronto.

Fed up with this perceived harassment, Hartt then contacted the mayor’s office, who told him that they’d look into his case. Lo and behold, Hartt reports that yesterday he received a phone call from David Williams of Municipal Licensing and Standards, who informed him that his “file is closed.”

Lawrence Solomon: Ford’s blow for film freedom

Lawrence Solomon

February 10, 2011
2:28 PM EST

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford recently came to the rescue of Reg Hartt, an individual who had run afoul of the law. Hartt’s violation? As explained by city authorities, he was illicitly running “a place of assembly.” Hartt’s actual crime? He is a non-conformist in a city that makes just about all commercial activities illegal, including those in the home, unless some city bureaucrat says otherwise.

Hartt has been a credit to Toronto for decades. His Cineforum, which screens noteworthy films for small study groups in his living room, has long won acclaim from critics in Canada and abroad and endorsements from Canadian icons such as author Pierre Berton and urban guru Jane Jacobs.  Lonely Planet lists 463 Bathurst St, his modest abode on a major Toronto thoroughfare, as among the top 30 sights to see in Toronto and in the top 30 of sights to see in Ontario. That’s quite a credit to the city. Yet although neighbours don’t complain, the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department periodically shuts him down.

MLS regulates freedom in Toronto, everything from the activities of major retailers down to an individual’s garage sales. It can investigate how well you are prepared to look after your pet in an emergency, whether you are mowing your lawn properly, and whether you are operating a pedicab without a license. And – in the case of Hartt — whether you can screen films in your living room for small gatherings. MLS’s answer was “no” – Hartt’s screenings of everything from modern classics to Nazi propaganda from the 1930s to Betty Boop cartoons, it claimed, somehow threatened the common weal.

Until Ford came to the rescue, it looked as if Hartt’s on-again, off-again battle against the authorities had finally ended in his defeat – Jane Jacobs, a former defender of his but now deceased, was no longer able to talk some sense into city officials. But while Hartt is grateful that the mayor has ended (at least for now) the bureaucracy’s ability to put him out of business, he would like to see something done for the many others like him who have been shut down, or live in fear of being shut down. A city shouldn’t shut the door on the inventiveness of its residents.

Hartt’s desire should become Mayor Ford’s command. The mayor has among his goals the trimming of city staff through attrition, the trimming of the city’s budget, and the treatment of city residents with respect. My suggestion: As a first cut, remove from the jurisdiction of the MLS all home-based activities that don’t create a disturbance. MLS would then shrink in size as inspectors would no longer need to investigate harmless activity – we already have a police force, a fire marshal, and environmental officers to deal with illegal or unsafe activities. And in Ford’s Toronto, city residents would be treated with respect.

EYE weekly once wrote that “Reg Hartt’s Cineforum is everything Jane Jacobs writes about.” Hartt is also like Jacobs in wanting the city out of its citizens homes – Jacobs believed harmless home businesses should not be regulated by the city bureaucracy.

On Sundays at 5pm starting February 20, Hartt will be showing film of Jane Jacobs “so that folks can hear from her lips that creating districts, standardizing cities and all the other things that are going on right now are anti-Jane Jacobs.” Mayor Ford is invited, and so are you (space permitted).

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute and author of Toronto Sprawls (University of Toronto Press). Have ideas for Fix Your City? Send them to




From: Elliott de Barros <>
Sent: 25 October 2016 15:47
To: ‘First National Management’
Cc: Scott Sullivan; Joy Correia
Subject: 463 Bathurst St. (Zoning Notice)


Mr. Shainhouse,


As a result of my meeting with staff from the city’s Legal and Prosecutions Depts. along with my management, I have been instructed to pursue this matter. Additionally, since the time of my last communication, Zoning By-law 569-2013 has now come into effect after having withstood a challenge before the Ontario Municipal Board and requires that I issue a fresh Zoning Notice (see attached) in relation to the property usage. Additional hard copies of this fresh Notice are being mailed out to you and your tenant. I will attempt to answer the questions posed in your message sent July 11/16 below and sincerely apologize for the delay in doing so.


Firstly please understand that I am not attempting to suggest that your tenant is operating a full-time gallery or cinema, but rather, that in addition to the residential use there is also an additional use as a Public Art Gallery/Entertainment Place of Assembly taking place on a scheduled basis. If you are not already aware of its existence I would suggest you visit your tenants web site ( in order to get an idea of the frequency of this additional use. You are correct in your presumption that my Dept. is obligated to investigate all complaints received, and in this instance, do not deem the property use issue to be frivolous.


The term “Salon” is not defined within the former or new Zoning By-laws, however, I believe the definitions you included in your communication speak of gatherings convened by invitation and not through advertising on an open website nor through publicly posted print ads. Your tenants stated position that “anyone who shows up on my doorstep is considered a friend”, and thus, he should not be considered to be open to the public, seems at best disingenuous. Additionally, his acknowledgement that The Cineforum is a destination listed in travel guides as a “must see” for visitors to Toronto also suggests that this is other than a regular gathering of friends and colleagues.


As I have communicated to your tenant, the use of the property, or a portion thereof, as any of the following would all require a zoning review under both the former and current Zoning By-laws:


–          Place of Assembly

–          Public Museum

–          Charitable Institution

–          Private Academic, Philanthropic or Religious School

–          Public Art Gallery

–          Tourist Home

–          Performing Arts Studio

–          Education Use

–          Religious Education Use


Your tenant was requested in early June to submit an application to the city for a ‘Preliminary Project Review’ to determine whether the additional use could be classified as “legal non-conforming” and thus not be required to obtain a minor zoning variance, and declined to do so.


The question of whether this use has a commercial aspect is not at issue. As your tenant has been advised, this is a land use issue and I would suggest as a landlord you have an obligation to ensure the property is being used in a lawful manner. I do not believe your concern regarding interfering with the tenancy is justified given the issuance of the Zoning notice, which is not a ‘maintenance standards work order’, as defined in sec. 225 of the Residential Tenancies Act, but rather a ‘Zoning Notice which requires compliance “forthwith” and carries no process of appeal. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to issue me a subpoena to attend at any proceeding you may wish to bring against your tenant, I would be legally obligated to attend.


In summary, while I would be happy to work with your tenant and yourself to ensure that this additional use is formally legalized  I cannot force anyone through that process. Should you and/or your tenant choose to reconsider submitting the required application please let me know so that further enforcement action can be suspended.




Elliott deBarros

Municipal Standards Officer

Toronto & East York District

433 Eastern Ave., Building B, 2nd Flr.

Toronto, Ont. M4M 1B7

Welcoming the stranger into my home:


Heritage Toronto:

Reposted here:

The world of animation owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Reg Hartt for sharing this incredible video with us.

















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