Joy Theatre, 1130 Queen East

          City of Toronto Archives,  Series SC 257-Fl.464.  Photo was taken in 1946.

In the City of Toronto Archives, the floor plans of the Rex Theatre, at 1130 Queen Street East, are dated December 1914, the year the First World War commenced. The Rex was located on the northeast corner of Bertmount and Queen Street East.  It contained 381 seats, in an auditorium with a central aisle only, and no balcony. The lobby was only 19 feet wide. The box office was on the right-hand side of the entrance, adjacent to the street. The facade was plain with a simple unadorned cornice, although above the windows on the second floor there was a faux-cornice with large dentils, the only architecture detailing on its otherwise plain facade. A synchronous sound system was added to the theatre in 1931.

In February 1938, the manager and owner of the license of the Rex Theatre was Sidney Goldstone. In September 1941, air-conditioning was installed. The following year, Kaplan and Sprachman were hired to renovate the theatre. The seating capacity was increased to 427 seats, which were covered with leatherette. It is likely that this was when the name of the theatre was changed to the Joy.


The Joy (Rex) Theatre after it ceased to be a movie house. A string of lights are mounted on the faux-cornice to illuminate the sign of the establishment. Photo, City of Toronto Archives.


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