Canadian Film Weekly [Apr 8, 1942]

Canadian Film Weekly

  • Editor: Hye Bossin (1942-64)
  • Renamed Canadian Film & TV Bi-Weekly (1965-69, editor: Stan Helleur)
  • Renamed Candian Film Weekly(1970, editor: Ed Hocura)

Canadian Film Weekly (1942-70) was edited by Hye Bossin and published by Film Publications of Canada, Ltd., wholly owned by leading exhibitor, Nat Taylor. In the late 1930s, Taylor was head of the Independent Theatre Association and his Toronto-based chain, Twinex-Century (Twentieth Century), was the largest independent circuit in the country. In 1941, however, he negotiated for chain affiliation with upstart Canadian Odeon before leveraging a better deal and greater booking control with nationally-dominant Famous Players Canada, Ltd. No longer independent, he took ownership of the Independent Theatre Association’s semi-monthly magazine, The Canadian Motion Picture Exhibitor (1940-41), installed Hye Bossin as editor, and laid plans to relaunch in January 1942 under a new name, Canadian Film Weekly. This enduring key publication was no longer solely focused on independent exhibitors but instead covered the entire industry on a national scale–exhibition, distribution and production–with some attention given to studio news from New York and Hollywood.

Bossin was a vibrant writer with a canny way with words, admired in the industry in the United States as well as Canada. He was one of a large family who lived above their father’s secondhand shop in the Jewish “ward” downtown in Toronto. His older brother was a bookie with ties to the underground; his younger brother was a famous journalist, protégé of Walter Winchell, and Hollywood screenwriter. In contrast, Hye spent nearly two decades learning the publishing trade in a printers’ shop before trying a stint as a Hollywood publicist, then writing a column for the Toronto Star Weekly before taking Taylor’s offer to edit the Film Weekly. Bossin was central to the creation of the Canadian Film Archive, the Canadian Film Awards, and he wrote some of the first histories of early cinema in Canada, published in the first volumes of the annual Canadian Film Weekly Year Book (1951-70).

In 1957, the Film Weekly had incorporated the rival Canadian Moving Picture Digest (1917-57), and began dating its start to that paper’s earlier start as the Canadian Universal Bulletin (1915-18). Subsequent variants of the Canadian Film Weekly and its yearbooks always claimed their roots all the way back to 1915 and the origins of the film industry trade press in Canada. After Bossin died in 1964, the Weekly’s new editor, Stan Helleur, renamed the magazine Canadian Film & TV Bi-Weekly, scaling back the pace of publishing but adding a purview for television and broadcasting. The annual was renamed similarly, its subtitle amended to “Year Book of the Canadian Entertainment Industry.” An attempted renewal to weekly format in 1970, edited by Ed Hocura, was short-lived and Nat Taylor decided instead to relaunch under an entirely new title, Canadian Film Digest (1971-77) and Canadian Film Digest Yearbook (1971-86).

– Paul Moore, March 2024

Further Reading

  • Bossin, Hye. “Canada and the Film: The Story of the Canadian Motion Picture Industry.” In Canadian Film Weekly Year Book of the Canadian Motion Picture Industry, 21-41. Toronto: Film Publications of Canada, 1951.
  • Moore, Paul. “Chronicling a National History: Hye Bossin’s Canadian Film Weekly and Year Book.” In Eric Hoyt and Kelley Conway, eds., Global Movie Magazines. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2024.

Item Details
This scan made possible by:
Media History Digital Library, Canadian Picture Pioneers, Paul Moore and Jessica Whitehead
Metadata last updated 2024-06-13