Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Site of Toronto's First Moving Picture Show
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted April, 2007
This 1996 Toronto Historical Board plaque can be seen here on the Yonge Street side of the 1 Adelaide Street East Building. Here's what it says:
Coordinates: 43.650322 -79.378281
On August 31, 1896, a series of films running less than a minute each was projected from a "Vitascope" invented by Thomas Edison at Robinson's Musee Theatre on this site. On the next day, the Toronto World reported that the "...machine projects apparently living figures and scenes on a canvas screen...it baffles analysis and delights immense audiences." Known as a "dime museum" (admission was ten cents), Robinson's Musee had opened in December 1890 and featured jugglers, magicians, and aerialists; a curio shop and waxworks on the second floor and an animal menagerie on the roof. The building changed hands several times, eventually becoming, in 1899, the first location of Shea's Theatre (later situated on Bay Street). It was destroyed by fire in 1905.
> Posted November 3, 2009
My grandfather worked as a projectionist at the theatre and if I could find a list of employees I could confirm that - his name was Percy Hart. I also have in my possession two spittoons that are to have been part of the decor but I would like to see pictures of the inside just in case it is true or not Please advise KmcKenzie9805@rogers.com
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