Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Runnymede Theatre 1927
Photo by Alan L Brown - Posted July, 2015
Photo Source - Wikipedia
Photo Source - Toronto Archives
On the south side of Bloor Street West just west of Runnymede Road can be seen this former movie theatre. In front of the main doors of what is now a retail store stands this 2014 Heritage Toronto plaque. Here's what it says:
Coordinates: 43.650964 -79.476573
Originally a Famous Players theatre for both vaudeville performances and movies, the Runnymede Theatre was designed in the classical style by the architectural firm Chapman and Oxley. The tall centre section of the brick building is capped by a decorative cornice and features a distinctive ornamental panel. The windows of the building's flanking two-storey sections duplicate the round-arch detail of the centre panel. Marketed as "Canada's Theatre Beautiful", the 1,400-seat theatre was one of the first Atmospheric-style auditoriums in the country. Elaborate murals and a ceiling painted to resemble the sky gave patrons the illusion of sitting outdoors.
As interest in vaudeville declined in the 1930s, the Runnymede became a movie theatre only, films being so popular that additional seats were added. In 1972, the building was converted for use as a bingo hall. Movies returned to a renovated two-screen Runnymede Theatre from 1980 until 1999, after which it was adapted for retail use.
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