Jersey Boys at the Kineto

Written on July 28th, 2014

We went to see the Jersey Boys movie at the Kineto Theatre in Forest on Friday night — That gives me two good things to talk about here:

First, Jersey Boys is a great movie.  The script is basically the same as the stage show, but of course, the movie allows for so much more visually.  The Jersey Boys is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, a Tony-award winning Broadway show directed by Des McAnuff, former artistic director of the Stratford Festival.  It came to Toronto in 2008 with a touring cast, the re-opened in January 2009 with a Canadian cast.  I was fortunate enough to see this lively musical three times.  See my review of it here: .  This year, it became a movie with producer/director Clint Eastwood.jersey-boys-poster

And here’s what I liked about the movie — They cast musical theatre actors who can sing the parts!  Canada’s own Michael Lomenda played Nick Massi with the deep voice.  Michael had the same role when it was on stage in Toronto and also toured with it. You might remember Michael from shows with Drayton Entertainment.  He played Cornie Collins, the TV show host in Hairspray and Sammy in Blood Brothers, both at Huron Country Playhouse in 2011, and has a host of other Drayton credits including Miss Saigon in 2007, 2008’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change at Playhouse II, and Forever Plaid at St. Jacobs. I was very proud to see a Canadian boy playing a Jersey boy!!

John Lloyd Young played Frankie Valli, the role he had on Broadway.   I appreciate it when they use actual singers in musical movies.  Remember the disaster when Pierce Brosnan was forced to sing in Mamma Mia?  Our ears are still bleeding and his embarrassment was palpable.

Second, the Kineto Theatre is great — what an asset to the town of Forest.  And congrats to the Kiwanis Club for keeping it going.  The projection is excellent, the sound is perfect, the seats are comfortable, and it only costs $5!!!

The Kineto will be celebrating its 100 birthday in 2017 — they are believed to be the longest continuously operating movie theatre in Canada and maybe the world.  The Kineto (which got its name from an early projector’s brand name (called a magic lantern in those days), was actually started as a movie theatre.  Many old movie theatres got their start as Vaudeville houses and then converted for silent films. For more about the Kineto click here:

The Kineto played an important part in our family — that’s where Victor & had our first date December 26, 1969 – yes, we were just little kids. The movie was Blackbeard’s Ghost.  Then 10 years later, when Kineto museumwe were engaged, we went back to the Kineto and saw the same movie!!!

We have very pleasant memories of taking our kids there to see all the Disney greats!  It was also a great place to drop the kids off to see a matinee — we knew they were in a safe environment. I remember taking them to see the Titanic.  Leonardo DiCaprio was chained to the pipes and Kate Winslet was looking for someone or something to free him.  Water was rising rapidly as the Titanic shifted.  Our son, Thomas, stood up in the theatre, and yelled at Rose (Winslet): “Hurry up!”

Victor’s cousin and hard-working Kiwanis member, Ward Burr, gave us a tour of the Kineto Museum Friday night.  They have several old projectors, photos, playbills and other artifacts tracing the history of this landmark. Kudos to the Kiwanis who keep this theatre going, and ensuring its future with film festivals and special events. Go see a movie and ask to visit their museum…it’s well worth it!

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