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


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