Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Allen's Danforth Theatre 1919
Photos by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted June, 2010
Photo Source - Wikimedia Commons
On the south side of Danforth Avenue, just east of Broadview Avenue, stands this building. A 2008 Heritage Toronto plaque erected with support from the Riverdale Historical Society has this to say:
Coordinates: 43.676330 -79.35737
Promoted as "Canada's First Super-Suburban Photoplay Palace", this theatre was constructed for Jule and Jay J. Allen, pioneers in the Canadian movie industry. After relocating the headquarters of Allen Theatres to Toronto in 1915, the Allen brothers quickly added 10 local theatres to their extensive Canadian chain. The Danforth Theatre - built after the completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct in 1918 - took advantage of its rapidly developing neighbourhood. Designed in modified Georgian Revival style by Hynes, Feldman & Watson, Architects, with C. Howard Crane of Detroit, the combination vaudeville and movie theatre seated 1,600. Its elegant auditorium featured wall panels of tapestry silk and richly detailed Adamesque plaster decoration. After the forced sale of many Allen theatres in 1923, the Danforth became the Century Theatre, and then The Music Hall. It is the best preserved former Allen theatre in Toronto. The symbol of its first owners, a stylized AT, can still be seen on its façade.
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