Avenue Theatre 1939

The Avenue Theatre in 1937, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, Series 1057, It, 3848

There are many photographs and much information about Toronto’s old movie houses in the Toronto Archives, Toronto Reference Library and the Ontario Archives, particularly on the downtown venues and some of the larger neighbourhood movie houses. However, not all the theatres are well documented. This is understandable as it is estimated that at the height of the popularity of movie theatres, there were over 150 venues in Toronto. Some of them were quite small and others were great movie palaces. There is copious research material available on these, but for some of the lesser known theatres, the information is scarce. The  Avenue Theatres is one of those in the latter category, but at least I was able to locate photographs of it.

If anyone has any personal knowledge of the Avenue Theatre or is aware of any sources of information that I could consult, I would greatly appreciate being informed. I can be contacted at [email protected].

Map of 331 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M5N

The Avenue Theatre was located at 331 Eglinton Avenue West, at Braemar, one block west of Avenue Road. Its facade was in the Art Deco style, with rounded corners on the east and west sides of its relatively unadorned facade, which faced Eglinton Avenue West. It contained 555 seats in the auditorium and 126 in the balcony. The architectural plans were submitted to the city in June 1938. The license was granted  to the Waterloo Theatre Company Limited, and in 1938, Julio and Julius Edison were the managers. The theatre was demolished, likely in the 1960s and shops were constructed on the site.

This is the extent of the information that I was able to discover.

f1257_s1057_it3843[1] The Avenue

The Avenue Theatre in 1937, Toronto Archives, Fonds 1257, S. 1057, It. 3843


This photo of the theatre was taken after it ceased to screen films as the marquee is blank. Ontario Archives, RG 32A-391


The shops on the site of the demolished Avenue Theatre. Photo, Toronto Archives.

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To discover more about  “Toronto’s Theatres and the Golden Age of the Silver Screen,” the publication shown below explores 50 of Toronto’s old theatres and contains over 80 archival photographs of the facades, marquees and interiors of the theatres. It also relates anecdotes and stories from those who experienced these grand old movie houses.  


Theatres Included in the Book

Chapter One – The Early Years—Nickelodeons and the First Theatres in Toronto

Theatorium (Red Mill) Theatre—Toronto’s First Movie Experience and First Permanent Movie Theatre, Auditorium (Avenue, PIckford), Colonial Theatre (the Bay), thePhotodome, Revue Theatre, Picture Palace (Royal George), Big Nickel (National, Rio), Madison Theatre (Midtown, Capri, Eden, Bloor Cinema, Bloor Street Hot Docs), Theatre Without a Name (Pastime, Prince Edward, Fox)

Chapter Two – The Great Movie Palaces – The End of the Nickelodeons

Loew’s Yonge Street (Elgin/Winter Garden), Shea’s Hippodrome, The Allen (Tivoli), Pantages (Imperial, Imperial Six, Ed Mirvish), Loew’s Uptown

Chapter Three – Smaller Theatres in the pre-1920s and 1920s

 Oakwood, Broadway, Carlton on Parliament Street, Victory on Yonge Street (Embassy, Astor, Showcase, Federal, New Yorker, Panasonic), Allan’s Danforth (Century, Titania, Music Hall), Parkdale, Alhambra (Baronet, Eve), St. Clair, Standard (Strand, Victory, Golden Harvest), Palace, Bedford (Park), Hudson (Mount Pleasant), Belsize (Crest, Regent), Runnymede

Chapter Four – Theatres During the 1930s, the Great Depression

Grant ,Hollywood, Oriole (Cinema, International Cinema), Eglinton, Casino, Radio City, Paramount, Scarboro, Paradise (Eve’s Paradise), State (Bloordale), Colony, Bellevue (Lux, Elektra, Lido), Kingsway, Pylon (Royal, Golden Princess), Metro

Chapter Five – Theatres in the 1940s – The Second World War and the Post-War Years

University, Odeon Fairlawn, Vaughan, Odeon Danforth, Glendale, Odeon Hyland, Nortown, Willow, Downtown, Odeon Carlton, Donlands, Biltmore, Odeon Humber, Town Cinema

Chapter Six – The 1950s Theatres

Savoy (Coronet), Westwood

Chapter Seven – Cineplex and Multi-screen Complexes

Cineplex Eaton Centre, Cineplex Odeon Varsity, Scotiabank Cineplex, Dundas Square Cineplex, The Bell Lightbox (TIFF)

         To place an order for this book:

https://www.historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Toronto-Theatres-and-the-Golden-Age-of-the-Silver-Screen/9781626194502 .





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