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The hospital’s Hollywood-style movie theatre marks its 10th anniversary

 TORONTO, ON – August 31, 2017 – On Friday, September 8th, 2017, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the John and Myrna Daniels Hollywood Theatre with a high-profile event during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) season, as founder Barry Avrich welcomes guests to experience the theatre for themselves. The event will take guests on a journey in reflection and celebration of 10 years of fun, laughter, imagination and making a major difference in the lives of sick children.

A crowd of philanthropists and entertainment industry staples will unite for the occasion. Homegrown celebrity comedian Howie Mandel will be speaking, joining the many familiar faces from Toronto’s arts and culture world and offering a few laughs in the process. 

Offering an escape from the realities of illness and hospital life, the 230-seat, Hollywood-style theatre officially opened in May 2007. It is complete with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology and Dolby surround sound, offering the feel of being at a local movie theatre. The movie theatre is the brainchild of filmmaker and advertising executive Barry Avrich, who founded the theatre and worked tirelessly to raise the one million dollars required to build it. The idea came to him after watching a young child in the hospital fumble with a DVD player. 

“I realized that sick children not only need a sense of normalcy – things that remind them of home – but also an escape from the four walls of their hospital room,” said Barry Avrich, Founder of the John and Myrna Daniels Hollywood Theatre. “This movie theatre offers both of these things for them and their families.”

It didn't take long for SickKids to approve the concept—he pitched the idea in June 2006 and got the go-ahead in August. In a special ceremony on the first anniversary of the theatre in June 2008, it was named after the project’s first and most influential donors, John and Myrna Daniels. During the ceremony, the Daniels’ offered an additional donation of $300,000 for the upkeep and maintenance of the theatre.
The theatre screens movies on a regular basis, including both new releases from major Hollywood studios (just days after their commercial release) and films from the hospital’s collection. The films are also broadcast into patient rooms via closed circuit television. When not in use to screen films, the theatre is used to enhance the educational capabilities of the hospital through state-of-the-art broadcast and telemedicine equipment.

“We rely on the generous support of the community and are pleased to recognize this ten year milestone,” said Ted Garrard, CEO, SickKids Foundation. “Over the last decade, the John and Myrna Daniels Hollywood Theatre has played an important role in helping to make SickKids the world-class institution that it is by offering escape through film to our patients and their families, and learning opportunities for staff.”

Guests will have a chance to experience the special impact of the theatre on the SickKids community firsthand as they hear thoughts and reflections from key players involved in the initiative and raise a glass to its continued success.  


Completed in 2007, the Hollywood is a 230-seat movie theatre located in Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). It is complete with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology and Dolby surround sound. It was founded by Toronto filmmaker and advertising executive Barry Avrich and funded largely by John and Myrna Daniels, who the theatre was named after in 2008. The theatre screens both new Hollywood releases and films from the hospital’s collection. The films are also broadcast into patient rooms via closed circuit television. This year, the theatre celebrates its 10-year anniversary with an event during the TIFF season.


Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation aims to inspire communities to invest in children’s health research, education and care to improve the lives of children and their families in Canada and around the world. Learn more at