Catharsis (Toronto)


A famous venue called The Rock Pile in Toronto used to use liquid light shows in 1968 and 1969. They were advertised as Catharsis Lightshows.

The Rock Pile would use them to accompany musical acts and film entertainments. I attended a showing of Marx Bros. Movies on which a liquid light show was projected in 1968.

The idea was for the audience (who all sat on the floor, there were no seats or benches) to smoke or toke or take psychs and the Light Show would light their fantasies.

In 1969, Sly and the Family Stone were booked and I was there. Sly was busted at the Canadian border and his act was not cancelled until hundreds of attendees at the Rock Pile had become completely bored with a Light Show.

I never heard of them being run anywhere else, and they stopped by the early 1970s, but the Rock Pile, aka The Masonic Temple, is still a popular venue in Toronto.

The Catharsis Light Show company disappeared, but I believe those responsible were involved in a neon light museum on Avenue Road in the same area in the late 1970s.

The Laser Light Show at the Toronto Planetarium was a fixture in the 70s. It was spectacular and drew crowds in the mid-70s but by the 80s nobody was impressed anymore.

They tore down the Planetarium, sadly, and said that the laser light projection equipment was obsolete and impossible to service.

Cindy - October 15th 2022


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Catharsis Light Show - Toronto