Wavelength Presents:

Empire Records: presented by TOPS

July 14, 2024 @ 6:00 pm

Eats & Treats @ 6 pm

Christie Pits Park

750 Bloor St. W.

Empire Records: presented by TOPS

Wavelength is proud to co-present 1995 indie record-store movie classic Empire Records with our friends at TOPS (Toronto Outdoor Picture Show) as part of their “On the Job” series at Christie Pits!


With short films Ruff ‘n Tuff – Stranger Cole’s Toronto Roots, a film collaboration by Chris Flanagan and Graeme Mathieson, 2017
Turning Tables, directed by Chrisann Hessing, 2018


Based on screenwriter Carol Heikkinen’s own experience working at Tower Records, Empire Records pays homage to a time when our teenage after-school jobs were spent with our second family and every life event deserved a thoughtfully curated soundtrack. A cult favourite, Empire Records stars a ‘90s who’s who of emerging film stars, including Liv Tyler, Ethan Embry, Renée Zellweger, and Debi Mazar, as shopkeepers whose lives revolve around crushes, part-time jobs, and their favourite musicians. After learning that their beloved place of work might be in danger of being bought by a big chain that would implement corporate policies, the employees and their earnest, supportive manager risk it all in an attempt to save the record store. Over the course of a hectic 24 hours at the store, director Allan Moyle insightfully portrays teenage angst alongside more complex issues, with the music pumping all the while as the campaign to save Empire Records continues.


The shorts paired with Empire Records similarly convey the power of music and how it brings people together, inspires, and fosters cultural connections. Roots Records, the first Jamaican business in Kensington Market, and its delightful owner, Stranger Cole, are the subject of Toronto based filmmakers Chris Flanagan and Graeme Mathieson’s Stranger Cole’s Toronto Roots. The short documentary takes a look back at Cole’s career as a Jamaican Ska and Reggae legend and the journey that brought him to Canada. Elsewhere, Toronto filmmaker Chrisann Hessing traces Anishinaabe DJ and producer Joshua DePerry’s vibrant and inspiring journey towards club music stardom in Turning Tables. Originally from Long Lake 58 First Nation, where he is known as “Fancy Dancer” and still shares his love of music and dance with the local youth, DePerry combines his Nation’s traditional music with modern techno beats in a sound and style distinctly his own.

Sunday, July 14, 2024
Christie Pits Park  

Admission: Free/PWYC (no ticket required to attend)
Donations make our programming possible (click here)

Event details:
Eats & Treats @ 6 pm / Showtime @ sundown (~ 9:00 pm)
Programme runtime: 1hr 55min
BYOBlanket & Chairs
Films are screened with captioning
Please click to read about additional accessibility features

Content advisory: This programme contains discussion of self harm, mild sex & nudity, alcohol/drug use, and mild profanity.

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