David Cuevas’s review published on Letterboxd:
As I type this log, the cinema of my dreams, my second home, my movie-viewing paradise, is now dead
It was a good run. Seven long years, commencing from the wee age of Eleven. Starting with the Ottawa International Animation Festival, I grew up with the greats throughout Bytowne history. Wenders, Zeman, Dormael, Sorrentino, Haynes, Lanthimos, Guerra, Haigh, Audiard, Rozema, Stillman, Guadagnino, Sokurov, Solondz, Campos, Denis. The list is endless.
But now, due to covid, financial constraints, and the wish of retirement from Bytowne head Bruce White; it's now time to say goodbye. And what better way than to start it off with the film that opened the cinema's doors back in 88!
It was a joyous experience. The crowd shouting with their masks on, the Bytowne staff dancing in the back of the theatre, people clapping at the end of pretty much each musical performance. The energy was ecstatic. The music was blaring. I could feel the vibrations through my chest and even theatre seat. It was an unreal experience; a moment I will never forget.
And to end it all off; a final standing ovation for Bruce White. After 32 years of cinema, the Bytowne has now closed. I'm sad obviously, but at least there's hope and some closure now. I can now rest easy in peace, knowing that this theatre, this building, or whatever will come next is in good hands. It's the end of an era; both for my own personal life and the history of Ottawa's downtown sphere. There's beauty in death, and there's always hope for resurrection in the future. And in the case of movie theatres, it's never the last picture show until the bulb and tech system of the projector, permanently leaves the building.