Last Call at the Gladstone Hotel
In 2000, developers purchase the crumbling, century-old Gladstone Hotel to turn it from skid row flophouse into trendy, arts and music hotspot. They think it’s empty…until they meet Marilyn, the chambermaid with a heart of gold; Shirley Ann, the cynical front desk clerk; and a motley crew of residents, including Maryanne, an ex-bag lady with a sweet personality who has turned her room into a toxic zone. The staff and residents — some who have been there for more than 30 years — worry they’ll be squeezed out during the hotel’s revitalization.
The developers come up with a plan: gradual restoration, seeing staff and residents remain upstairs, while the bar serves designer drinks to hip new clientele downstairs. It doesn’t work. When experimental filmmaker, Christina Zeidler inherits the mess and forms a “business model that includes social change,” the hotel has the last word. City inspectors demand complete rewiring. The boiler blows up leaving the hotel without heat, ceilings leak, walls crumble and now it’s up to Zeidler to decide what to do.
Shot over five years in a cinema direct style, this documentary is an intimate and compelling portrait of the effects of urban renewal upon the poor, exposing a pattern of displacement repeated in cities worldwide, and revealing the unintentional roles we often play in the process of gentrification.
"A terrifically astute, conscientious and engaged work…painfully incisive." - Geoff Pevere, TORONTO STAR
**** - NOW MAGAZINE
2006 / Canada / Colour / English / 1.33 full frame presentation / Dolby 2.0 / 65 minutes
Directors: Neil Graham and Derreck Roemer
- Official Selection – 2009 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival
- 2008 Gemini Award Winner
- Optional French subtitles
- Five Deleted Scenes
- Interview with the directors (courtesy of Hot Docs)
Product Number: KNS 50298
UPC Number: 8-81751-50298-8