In Toronto, the Power Center Has Moved to the Light Box -- and the Ritz

Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:30am EDT

It’s midnight in Toronto and there’s a whole new power landscape on the back patio of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

It never used to be here, but all of a sudden it’s the place where Glenn Close is snuggling up to her daughter at the post-premiere of her movie, “Albert Nobbs,” with director Rodrigo Garcia.

Outside, the entire senior management of Summit Entertainment – Robbie Friedman, Patrick Wachsberger, Erik Feig et al – is having a drink but there’s no tables left so they have to stand.

That’s because UTA took a chunk of space, Sony is here in force and there are lots and lots of pretty young things in too-short dresses and chunky, spiked shoes. It's entirely packed even though CAA is having its party several blocks away.

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For a decade, the power players hung out at two places - the Four Seasons Hotel and the Hyatt, a couple of miles north. The Hyatt lobby with its bar was an informal meeting place for deal-making and greeting movie stars as they arrived from the airport.

Those days are gone.

In the new Toronto Film Festival, the newlybuilt “Light Box” building – underwritten by comedy titan and Canadian Ivan Reitman – has shifted the entire center of gravity downtown, and hence the Armani-suited set has had to find a luxury hotel to support the whole affair.

Enter the new Ritz-Carlton, where fans are parked outside of barricades day and night (how did they find the place so fast?), and business is now getting done in the bar up front and especially the late night bar in the back.

All day Sunday, UTA agents were parked in a front seating area, negotiating the sale of “Salmon Fishing in Yemen.”

Meanwhile, actors like George Clooney, Ryan Gosling come sailing past with their entourages, or – tonight – director Roland Emmerich goes striding through on his way to his “Anonymous” premiere.

Later, Rhys Ifans wanders back to the bar, looking for his posse.

One power player didn’t get the memo and found himself confused, wandering around a barren Four Seasons lobby these past few days.

He should grab himself a fruity drink – some cherry and mint concoction that they seem to do very well at the Ritz  -- park at the bar, and update his rolodex.

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