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Reg Hartt’s CineForum is everything Jane Jacobs wrote about. She was a regular.”–Laura Lynd.

What makes myself and The CineForum everything Jane Jacobs wrote about are the longstanding and persistent efforts to destroy both.

In THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES Jane Jacobs wrote that when the destructive forces in a city wish to destroy those who stand up to them they rig sex scandals:

There is nothing like learning someone is willing to pay money to have us killed:

After hiring and firing three lawyers I defended myself. The Crown informed the court that the police after a thorough forensic search of the computers and hard drives seized in the police raid on my home no evidence had been found. The charges were withdrawn. This has not been reported in the media.

The charges stemmed from false evidence provided to the police by a long time adversary.

Operator of beloved movie house target of vicious personal attacks

Adam Zivo: In Toronto’s Weirdest Cinema, a Portrait of the Artist I’d Never Become

Well, that was Adam. Now for something completely different…

“My mother loved Reg Hartt.”–James Jacobs

10 Things You Can Only Do In Toronto

The flyers of ‘Missives’ zine are innately ephemeral, but endure

Profile: Reg Hartt

Now Hartt faces a new challenge: he has become the target of a slander campaign. Anonymous posters started appearing in Toronto, first targetting Hartt, then also targetting one of the other residents of the Cineforum. The latter were most troubling, as they accused the individual in question of secretly videotaping drug dealers and giving the address of the Cineforum. Feeling that they might be attacked, Hartt says he felt that closing the theatre was necessary.

“When I looked at those [posters], the starkness of them, I said, no, you gotta shut down, you can’t take any chances. I was shut down for two days. That gave me time to think. In that time that I was shut down, I reflected and thought about all the people I’ve known over the years, and how I didn’t fight I would be letting them down, and realized sometimes you just have to stand up.” Hartt has responded by, again, calling and writing to every politician he can. Hartt has also put up his own posters, hundreds of them, defending himself from the charges and inviting people to come to the Cineforum again.

It all seems at odds with the popular perception of Toronto: we are supposed to be polite, distant, and a little awkward. Hartt, in his stubborness, doesn’t fit into this mold. Yet he is part of Toronto, and Toronto is better because of it.. “I have a bit of the fighting Irish in me”, he says. “I’m not going anywhere.”

The “weird store” was a focal point for one of Toronto’s first major conventions, the Triple Fan Fair. Centred around Markham Street during Canada Day weekend in 1968, the gathering included art displays, a Tarzan exhibit, a panel discussion featuring Stan Lee, a comic-book swap, and silent films presented by a young Reg Hartt. Anticipating future convention costume contests, the fair offered a masked ball filled with comic characters, silent movie stars, and monsters.

Another wondeful example of something I wanted to see but didn’t know about until I got to it was Reg Hartt‘s Cineforum. Reg Hartt is a movie enthusiast in Toronto who runs a private movie theatre in his living room. Walking around Toronto one day I saw a poster advertising one of his shows, featuring Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons that had been banned for being too racist, and the post was clearly the call of fate. Of course I’m going to attend a cartoon show in some stranger’s living room in Toronto. Hartt handed me a beer on the way in and began a long, meandering rant about the history of these cartoons. One guy in the audience interrupted “just start the show” and Hartt shot back “This is the show!” Reg Hartt is my hero.

Reg Hartt (born June 12, 1946 in Minto, New Brunswick) is a film archivist in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who is well known for his unique staging of films that cover all aspects of the art of motion pictures from their inception to the present. His programs are shown in his 40-seat theatre “The Cineforum”

My photo above was used in Exit Through The Gift Shop, the 2010 street art doc by Banksy, in a sequence showing Shepard Fairey’s Obey Giant stickers all around the world.

I had to take the picture because there was an actual giant in the Le Chateau window! Posters for Reg Hartt screenings brand the scene as specifically Toronto.

If you’ve lived in Toronto for any length of time, you’ve definitely seen a Reg Hartt poster. They’re impossible to miss: stark white and black pages that trumpet the latest classic film’s arrival at Hartt’s in-home theatre, The Cineforum.

Even now, in the age of glossy full-colour postering campaigns, Cineforum flyers stand out with their vintage, just-off-the-photocopier feel, evoking a feeling of indie years past when anyone with a black marker, scotch tape and some pocket change could advertise their event via the street telegraph. Which, as Hartt himself points out, was always the point.

“Look, the Supreme Court defended postering as freedom of speech for the individual,” he says. “It’s meant for people who can’t afford print or media advertising. So if you want to put up a flyer advertising a yard sale or concert or any event you’re doing, you have the right to do that.

“But that’s for you, not for Cineplex Odeon or Coca-Cola. The people who defended that right didn’t do it so corporations could come in, dominate the speech and take over in a hoggish, piggish way. It’s as they say: the person gets the freedom, and the mob comes in and takes it away.”

I lived in a cinema at the time; it was in someone’s house. It still exists; it’s the Cineforum Cinema, owned by Reg Hartt. He was kind of a formative figure in my life as an artist. So, I was able to take my film, in pieces, and show the crowd, before they saw the show that they had paid to see. If I was experimenting with something, and I wanted to see the reaction of people, I could bring it, and project it before the [main] screening. We’re talking crowds of five to 30 people. It would only take two or three minutes.

“Years later, 24-year-old Reg Hartt became a sort of teacher himself, the Director of Cinema Studies at Rochdale from 1970 to 1975. ‘I was invited to run the program by Judith Merril,’ he says, referring to the Canadian science fiction author who also lived in the college.”

Read this for the first time this morning (2022—11—14). He got just about everything I said to him wrong. It is amazing but all too typical.

Reg Hartt’s Visit Reg Hartt Website

Reginald Hartt Being one of the most popular celebrities on Social Media, Reg Hartt’s has own website also has one of the most advanced WordPress designs on Reg website. When you land on hiswebsite you can see all the available options and categories in the navigation menu at the top of the page. However, only if you scroll down you can actually experience the kind of masterpiece that his website actually is.
The website of Reginald Hartt has a solid responsive theme and it adapts nicely to any screens size. Do you already wonder what it is based on? Reginald Hartt has a massive collection of content on this site and it’s mind-blowing.

I watched VAMPIRE CIRCUS in a daze. Freezing, shaking, burning, quaking, coughing, spitting. I made it to the finish line and deduced through my delirium that the film is perhaps Hammer’s greatest vampire offering, an absolutely mad and frantic piece of fantastique cinema with sex, blood, horror, fantastic bats, pretty sets, solid cast, lovely animals and a killer climax.

When the reel wound out, I literally stumbled out of that house on the verge of collapse.

Reg Hartt asked me if I was alright and I smiled and said yes and thanked him for an awesome evening.

“I watched Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, a very controversial film on Hitler’s 1934 Nuremberg Rally put on by equally controversial Toronto film connoisseur, Reg Hartt, at the Cineforum (a make-shift theatre in his home). The movie blew me away. It was a powerful, real-life portrayal of Hitler’s propaganda machine and the horrifying consequences of mass media manipulation…What really hit me though was Reg Hartt’s commentary after the movie ended.”

This somewhat unconventional cinema house is an absolute must for film lovers! Reg Hartt is a captivating man, and has opened a cinema in his house and shows regular films. It’s a Toronto must to stop by and pay a ‘donation’ to see movies.

What makes it even more interesting is the way Hartt will randomly stop a film mid-through to discuss it. His commentaries are hardly an annoyance – in fact, most find them to enhance the experience!

Hartt often has to fight with officials to keep CineForum open, and so it has no promised future. It’s better to visit before it’s too late!

Look reg hartt is a treasure that people on this city had not bothered to discover, shame because he is known throughout the world as a great speaker…

15. Attend The Cineforum

One of the most unique things to do in Toronto for cinephiles is attend the movie house, The Cineforum, run by ex-film lecturer Reg Hartt. Prior to starting this enterprise, Reg used to lecture in churches and bars around the city. Now, he keeps things under his own roof. Screenings are advertised on black and white flyers pasted onto telephone poles around the city. Most films shown are old classics and if you get a silent movie, you may be treated to one of Reg’s original soundtracks, made especially. Throughout the screening, Reg will chip in with cinematic insight. It’s a truly unique, truly Torontonian evening.

THE CINEFORUM is not, despite what is reported here, an illegal operation. It is a salon on the lines of the great salons of Gertrude Stein and Victor Hugo where those new to the scene meet those log established. Out of it have come many new artists (WIZTHEMC , PETUNIA , THE MAD DALTON & more: .

“There was punk rock when I was a teenager,” he explains. “I had also never really heard much classical music, but then I became a classical music listener as I began to score music for silent films,” he said. This took place during his time at a place in Toronto known as the Cineforum, owned and run by Reg Hartt.

“I was scoring silent films at his place. He encouraged, and still encourages people who work with him to be involved in what he’s doing,” said Petunia, adding that Hartt taught him plenty including a business acumen that he didn’t have before. “I learned everything I know about how to survive as an artist through Reg – he taught me everything,” he said.

WizTheMc is a 21-year-old hip hop artist born in Cape Town, South Africa. At the age of 2, he moved to Lüneburg, Germany with his mother and brother. As a young teen, Wiz started a music group with his friends called NOHOMES. This group lasted throughout the summer but did not move forward. Though the group ended, Wiz’s interest in music did not, he continued to write lyrics and freestyle. In 2017, he spontaneously moved to Toronto to learn about the English music scene through an eagerness to become a better artist. This is where he familiarized himself with the culture, local artists, and the vibrancy of the city. Now, he credits both Toronto and Reg Hartt, a film archivist, for giving him an opportunity to build his music career.

8. Toronto – the bright and bustling cosmopolitan city and an amazing place to visit in Canada

For something really unusual, check out the Cineforum (where local eccentric Reg Hartt will essentially show you short films and animations in his living room)

The Eye article talks about the Toronto a la Cart program as well as the Mayor’s office’s defence of Reg Hartt, who’s been running a little cinephile movie theatre out of his living room for decades (I used to go all the time). Mayor Miller’s well-meaning but wooly-headed council tried to kill this unique little piece of Toronto, but Mayor Ford’s office brought it back. It’s a worthy read, which closes with this line that’s sure to make some progressives do a double-take:

When I visited Toronto this past June, I had the pleasure of stopping by Reg Hartt’s Cineforum, a legendary microcinema that screens everything from subversive shorts by Salvador Dali­ to Hollywood rarities. The theater manages to stay on the radar of most Torontonians thanks to aggressive postering campaigns, how I initially learned of its existence. The venue is the polar opposite of the shiny new TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto’s state-of-the-art cinematheque and home of the Toronto Film Festival. Yet each venue is, in its own way, a temple to cinema—and I think true lovers of film appreciate that Toronto is lucky enough to have both.

Who is posting anonymous flyers on the streets of Toronto that are designed to bring harm to their subjects?

The Supreme Court of Canada in the Ramsden Decision, defended street postering as freedom of speech for people without access to mainstream media:                                                     .


The City of Toronto enacted street poster bylaws which are extremely well thought out and eminently fair:


  • 693-30. Posters on kiosks.
    A. Despite § 693-29A, a poster may be placed on a kiosk if:
    (1) The poster is no more than 22 centimetres by 28 centimetres in size;
    (2) The poster consists only of lightweight cardboard or paper;
    (3) The poster is securely attached flush to the surface of the kiosk using staples or
    removable tape and no other method of affixing the poster to the kiosk is used;
    (4) The poster is placed no higher than two metres above the ground;
    (5) The poster includes the date of posting on the front of the poster;
    (6) The poster is displayed for not more than the earlier of:
    (a) Thirty days; or
    (b) Five days after the end of the advertised event, if any;
    (7) Not more than one poster conveying essentially identical information is posted on the
    (8) The poster faces towards the property fronting on the highway and away from the
    portion of the highway ordinarily used by vehicles; and
    (9) The poster includes valid contact information for at least one owner of the poster.
    § 693-31. Community posters on utility poles.
    A. Despite § 693-29A, persons, charities, religious organizations, community organizations
    and schools may erect, attach, place or display, or cause or permit to be erected, attached,
    placed or displayed community posters on utility poles as permitted under Subsection B.TORONTO MUNICIPAL CODE
    693-47 July 16, 2021
    B. A community poster may be placed on a utility pole located on a boulevard if:
    (1) The community poster is no more than 22 centimetres by 28 centimetres in size;
    (2) The community poster consists only of lightweight cardboard or paper;
    (3) The community poster is securely attached flush to the surface of the utility pole
    using staples or removable tape and no other method of affixing the poster to the
    utility pole is used;
    (4) The community poster is placed no higher than two metres above the ground;
    (5) The community poster includes the date of posting on the front of the poster;
    (6) The community poster is displayed for not more than the earlier of:
    (a) Thirty days; or
    (b) Five days after the end of the advertised event, if any;
    (7) Not more than one community poster conveying essentially identical information is
    posted on the kiosk;
    (8) The community poster faces towards the property fronting on the highway and away
    from the portion of the highway ordinarily used by vehicles; and
    (9) The community poster includes valid contact information for at least one owner of the poster.

Commercial postering for hire is not protected under the Ramsden Decision. Neither is postering by people who are using mainstream media. The anonymous smear posters designed to incite violence upon their subjects are certainly not protected.–Reg Hartt


Street Poster Campaign designed to incite violence on Terry Ross

Screen recording 31 03 2022, 05 47:

There is this nutjob in Davisville that doesn’t let anyone put up posters:



2012: Daniel Goggin on being criminally harassed by James Gillis;

2017: Daniel Goggin on being criminally harassed by flyers posted by anonymous hater:  (2017 09 27)

Toronto Has A Cold, Cold Heart (Song By Petunia and The Vipers) :

Illegal, oversize posters:

“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.”


“Reg Hartt has a feel for film unique in this country…genius level.”—Elwy Yost.

“Reg Hartt has had an amazing impact given the size of the venue and the esoteric nature of the programming. He’s had an incredible impact on the city. No one else is doing it. No one else has ever done it.”–Rob Salem.

“Reg Hartt teaches like Neal Cassady drove a bus.”—Joe Fiorito, Toronto Star.

Q: Did growing up in Toronto influence your obsession?
A: My knowledge of silent films, German and French cinema, came an awful lot from Reg Hartt’s Cineforum. At first he showed films at Innis College, then he had a place on Mercer St. for a while. Reg showed some really incredible silent films, from Phantom of the Opera to D.W. Griffith’s films. His strength was putting incredibly good soundtracks on the films. He has a really good ear for movie music and back in the good old days when it was all analog, he would splice them together himself.

SH: A little bit. TIFF occasionally runs a silent film. The Revue has a silent film program. It runs from, I think, September to June once a month. People like Reg Hartt, who’s really done a fantastic job since the 70s and 80s putting up really wonderful silent films, he doesn’t have live accompaniment, but he’s extremely good at putting scores together for films. Those are the three main avenues for that. Occasionally other film festivals have too, depending on what their theme is. Some of them are certainly a lot more open to showing a silent film.

A city that sees value in rules, but no value in letting Reg Hartt bend them, has no right to claim Jane Jacobs’ legacy, writes Edward Keenan.

The city should drop its misguided fight against Reg Hartt…

“I am a friend of Reg Hartt.
“So is anyone who can appreciate a man who teaches the way Neal Cassady drove a bus.
“I mean that, where you have style wrapped around content and tied with a ribbon of beat improvisation, there you have angels.
“Harvey Pekar was an angel.
“And I’ve never met anyone with wings who did not have an ego. Nor is this an easy town for a man who is larger than life, and does not to suffer fools.
“You might like to know that the friends of Reg Hartt included the non-fool-suffering Jane Jacobs, who knew a thing or two about what, and who, makes life worth living in the city; that’s good enough for me.”

“REG HARTT is what living in a metropolis is all about. He personifies the city as a meeting place of ideas, as a feast of experience and discussion and debate, as a triumph over the banal and soporific of the original and provoking .”

Some audience members were visibly distressed by the frequency and force of Hartt’s interjections into the program but it is clearly his chosen way of doing things, and the payoff in information is worth it. He has many good stories to tell: about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit’s transformation into Mickey Mouse, Disney’s most enduring character; about the furor that greeted the creation of Tweety Pie, which subsided only when the artists painted him yellow; and much valuable technical information for the animation students. He has some interesting tales about Mel Blanc, Warners’ resident genius of voice characterization, as he continues the series with a full scale look at the Warner work of Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, and others. It’s the best work of its kind you will see anywhere because, except in rare oases in the United States and Eastern-Europe, they don’t make them like that anymore.

JULIA SCUTARU, retired journalist, Bucharest, Romania: “In Toronto, I discovered by chance, Cineforum. Pure chance but a fortunate one. In that small room exhaling culture, passion and dedication, I watched the movie TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, an important historical, political and social document., and real artistic achievement….As a journalist (in Romania) I worked in the cultural field, including film reviews. Therefore I came to the Cineforum not just as a movie lover, but as a knowledgeable professional…We live in an era authoritatively dominated by brainwashing and political correctness…I admired Reg Hartt’s courage and passion put in searching out and defending the human truth, the artistic truth, the historical truth; the Truth and unveiling it…Discovering Reg Hartt and his Cineforum was one of the most important events of my visit in Toronto.”

DAVID BEARD, owner CINEBOOKS, quoted in THE TORONTO STAR, Nov. l, l979
“This man has devoted his whole life to bringing the film classics to the public. He treats animation-cartoons, if you will-as art. He is underfinanced, overworked and snubbed. I think we should pay tribute to him.

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,

“I frequently wonder if you have ever considered writing a history…some very good books have been written…but no text has dealt with it in a definitive way. A marshaling of your knowledge would, I am certain, produce a very fine volume indeed.”

DOUGLAS ELIUK, education officer NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA, formerly Canada’s Cultural Attache to America. “(REG) Hartt is acknowledged as a phenomenon in the film community. He is someone who does not rely on government grants, subsidies or institutional protection to generate his film activities. He depends entirely on his intelligence, talent and resourcefulness. His events are produced with care and good sense, in a clean and friendly atmosphere and with an almost avuncular consideration for his fans, As a film officer for the National Film Board of Canada for 30 years, I have seldom seen anyone who added so much substance and passion to the cultural fabric of our society as he has done with his lectures and presentations.”

From a letter to Ottawa’s Towne Cinema;
“Last week I finally got a chance to see a film I have been trying to see for literally years. That film is METROPOLIS, and I don’t mean Giorgio Moroder’s head-banger version. No, I’m talking about the most complete version of the film as it was meant to be seen in a l6mm print so clear, so clean you’d think the film was made a year ago. Wow. I mean I have been hearing stories about METROPOLIS for a long time, but I never thought my expectations would be met let alone far
surpassed. And this without the “help” of Mr. Moroder. Does this mean there wasn’t a soundtrack?

“Far from it. Accompanying the film was a brilliant (and I mean brilliant) soundtrack combining both modern music and classical pieces. This soundtrack suited the film when we all know Moroder’s didn’t. So who has this print of the film? Reg Hartt….If you know anything about Reg Hartt you know his lectures are anything but boring. He’s thrown chairs at people, kicked non-believers out, slandered near everyone under the sun (who usually deserves it) and started near riots. In other words, a real entertaining guy. Honestly. Reg is a lot of fun, he knows more about film (and the politics of film) than all of my teachers combined. And his soundtracks!”

DOUGLAS ELIUK, education officer National Film Board of Canada; Canadian Cultural Attache to America: “I have left so many cinemas looking like I’ve been smelling onions for two hours that it is a pleasure and a catharsis to alert you to a redeeming film experience I enjoyed recently. It was not exactly an epiphany, but when something brilliant comes along, it deserves comment beyond self congratulations on managing to stay awake.

“What I’m referring to is a recent screening of Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS I attended at Reg Hartt’s Cineforum. I’ve seen the film with every sort of accompaniment except organ grinder and a monkey. When organ and even the now rare orchestral accompaniments have been attached to one of the “silent” classics, it is still hard to avoid the giggle factor what with all the usual silent movie grand overwrought gestural school of acting methods. However, Reg Hartt has completely transcended the predictable approach and has presented a classic film with a brilliant multi-layered sound track that forgives the histrionic giggle factor. Hartt allows us to see a great film with a fresh perspective.

“I am not Mr. Hartt’s P. R. council but as someone who has been in the film industry for decades and who celebrates cinematic excellence,I hope you will take the opportunity to experience this superb revitalization of METROPOLIS with its innovative music track.”

PETER MOORE, British Artist.

“I am a Brit artist. I love Toronto. I have sometimes heard it said that Toronto is boring. It is a comparatively well ordered city. Maybe that is why some imperceptive people think it boring. The thing is I keep having amazing successes in Toronto. My friend Bob Welton who decided he was much happier in Warsaw than in London used to say in London everything is possible and nothing is probable. I just find in Toronto not everything is possible but lots of things, important things, are quite probable. Does this make sense?

“ANYWAY, a wonderful surprise in Toronto is Reg Hartt’s Cineforum. I was walking down Bloor Street with my friend Alan, a composer, a Torontonian who, searching for fulfillment in London, has realized that everything he wanted existed in his original home, Toronto. It was my birthday. He said, “What do you want to do for your birthday?” I said, “I want to go and see that!”

“I was pointing at a mysterious poster for TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, (the film of Hitler’s l934 Nuremberg rally). I’d always wanted to see that.

“So we went and I found myself in the most perfect place on earth to watch a film. With the film was an unexpected treat….a brilliant, unbiased, sensible and stimulating introduction by the amazing Reg Hartt.

“So once again, in German mode, we went to see Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS. Reg had somehow spliced on to the film his own soundtrack. Now this was interesting because a while later we went to the Art Gallery of Ontatio where the same film was shown-much bigger screen-and with piano accompaniment. It was interesting to compare the two showings. Reg’s came out winning.”

“If Martin Sheen can come to town and stand on the picket line with striking hotel workers, why won’t our senior cineastes stand up for Reg Hartt, as the city moves to strike him down?”–Joe Fiorito, TORONTO STAR:

“A city that sees value in rules, but no value in letting Reg Hartt bend them, has no right to claim Jane Jacobs’ legacy,” writes Edward Keenan:

The city should leave Cineforum alone: Editorial












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