Tivoli Theatre

Tivoli Theatre

 

Address: 108-110 James St. W 

Vernon, Henry. Vernon's City of Hamilton. Forty-Ninth Annual Street, Alphabetical, Business and Miscellaneous Directory for the year 1922. Henry Vernon & Son, 1922. 

static.torontopubliclibrary.ca/da/pdfs/vernonhamilton00vernuoft.pdf

Also Known As: the Wonderland, the Colonial, the Princess.

History

"Built in stages between 1875 and 1924, the Tivoli complex originally housed a carriage factory, and then a small storefront nickelodeon in 1907. It opened in 1924 as a combination vaudeville and movie house. In 1995, it became a venue for live stage shows.

On June 29, [2004] a portion of the once-majestic, Second Empire-style theatre’s south wall and roof collapsed, forcing engineers to respond to its structural instability. The City took over the property to secure it and, in doing so, removed a number of elements including the third floor, the front wall, the cupola and light-bulb encrusted Tivoli marquee. In 2005, the Sniderman family, of Sam the Record Man fame, applied for a permit to demolish everything that remains, including the 750-seat theatre auditorium, which was designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act in 2004.

Where things stand

The Sniderman's sold the theatre in the mid-2000s for two dollars to Belma Gurdil-Diamante, CEO of the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble (CBYE). Unable to keep up the necessary repairs, the dance company sold the Tivoli for $900,000 in February 2013 to Gurdil-Diamante's husband, head of Diamante Investments, as part of a condo redevelopment plan.

According to Diamante, the project will include the restoration of the theatre--still used by CBYE--as a central component of the plan. "This is the signature last project that he's doing," reported Diamante's son to the CBC. "He wants to build something that he can look at and enjoy."

The goal is to donate it back to CBYE after restoration with a partnership plan that has yet to be worked out. The local arts community through the Tivoli Performing Arts Association is involved in the redevelopment plans.

Work is underway with City officials and architects, and plans will be shared with the public in early 2014.

UPDATE: Diamante Investments purchased the Tivoli in February 2013 with the goal of incorporating it into a condo-based redevelopment plan that will see the theatre restored.

UPDATE: In March 2015, city council approved Diamante Investments' proposal, which would see the Tivoli Theatre conserved as part of a 22-storey condiminium project that would include non-profit community space."

"Tivoli Theatre" National Trust for Canada. Mar 2015.

archive.nationaltrustcanada.ca/issues-campaigns/top-ten-endangered/explore-past-listings/ontario/tivoli-theatre

Tivoli Theatre Interior - 1944  "Tivoli Theatre"  National Trust for Canada.  Mar 2015.  archive.nationaltrustcanada.ca/issues-campaigns/top-ten-endangered/explore-past-listings/ontario/tivoli-theatre

Tivoli Theatre Interior - 1944

"Tivoli Theatre" National Trust for Canada. Mar 2015.

archive.nationaltrustcanada.ca/issues-campaigns/top-ten-endangered/explore-past-listings/ontario/tivoli-theatre

Lyric Theatre

Lyric Theatre

 

Address: 14 Mary Street

Also Known As: the Century


History

The 2300-seat Lyric Theatre opened in 1913 as a vaudeville and motion-picture house. The theatre was named as the result of a promotional contest where $200 in gold was the prize for the best name. Eighty Hamiltonians suggested the name, Lyric, and the prize was split among them, each receiving $2.50.

The Renaissance Revival style theatre was converted to Hamilton's first movie studio in 1920, and again renovated in 1922 as a vaudeville and movie house.

In 1940, the theatre was modernized and air-conditioned. Renamed the Century, the renovated interior of the new theatre still covers the original interior of the old Lyric. Another modernization in 1952 did little to save the Century from the same fate as all Hamilton's grand movie houses, and it closed in 1989.

Subsequently, the facade of the building with its semicircular Lyric logo was designated to be of heritage value by the City of Hamilton under the Ontario Heritage Act. Currently, the rest of the building is slated for demolition, to be rebuilt as condominiums.

 

Manson, Bill "Century (Lyric) Theatre". historical hamilton. Accessed June 26, 2017. historicalhamilton.com/beasley/century-(lyric)-theatre/

Century Theatre - Post Closing  Kowalewicz, Brian. “Century Theatre, southwest corner.”  historical Hamilton.  historicalhamilton.com/beasley/century-(lyric)-theatre/p-1438-century-theatre,-southwest-corner.html

Century Theatre - Post Closing

Kowalewicz, Brian. “Century Theatre, southwest corner.” historical Hamilton. historicalhamilton.com/beasley/century-(lyric)-theatre/p-1438-century-theatre,-southwest-corner.html

Grand Opera House

Grand Opera House

 

Address: 102 James St. N


History

"This first-class theatre building, which opened in 1880, was constructed for $25,000. The architect George H. Lalor spared no expense on the building, which drew international stars to its stage. The Opera House attracted such crowds that it underwent several overhauls and expansions in ensuing years. But by the 1930s, interest had begun to wane. Finally, it was shuttered in 1961. Today, the site contains a strip mall."

Hamilton Spectator. "Vanished Hamilton: A litany of loss." Hamilton Spectator. 17 Feb. 2013,

www.thespec.com/news-story/2206326-vanished-hamilton-a-litany-of-loss/

 

"Based on a theatre design of an existing theatre in Toronto, the Grand Opera House opened to the public on November 29, 1880. It had cost $25,000 and was a combination of Gothic and Eastlake styles. The theatre was designed to seat 1,169 people. Many famous acts appeared at the Grand Opera House including comedians, tragedians, ballerinas, opera stars to name only a few.

It was one of the houses on the Vaudeville circuit between Buffalo and Toronto so it was always busy. As Vaudeville declined as the movies flourished the Grand Opera House also declined. In 1926 a fire destroyed the stage, scenery, orchestral equipment and fly-gallery. From the 1930s onward it was in a steady decline as a live venue and was turned into a movie theatre. It became the Grand in 1937, the Granada in 1937 and the Downtown Theatre in 1951. The building was finally closed on November 1, 1961 and demolished." 

"Grand Opera House Interior". Flickr, Hamilton Public Library, 15 May 2013,

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hpllocalhistory/14187619954

Grand Opera House Exterior  “Grand Opera House, 1880-1961”. Local History & Archives Hamilton.  flickr , 25 Mar. 2013.  www.flickr.com/photos/hpllocalhistory/14187619954/in/photostream/

Grand Opera House Exterior

“Grand Opera House, 1880-1961”. Local History & Archives Hamilton. flickr, 25 Mar. 2013.

www.flickr.com/photos/hpllocalhistory/14187619954/in/photostream/

Grand Opera House Interior  “Local History & Archives Hamilton”  flickr . 15 May 2013.  www.flickr.com/photos/hpllocalhistory/14187619924/in/photostream/

Grand Opera House Interior

“Local History & Archives Hamilton” flickr. 15 May 2013.

www.flickr.com/photos/hpllocalhistory/14187619924/in/photostream/

Capitol Theatre

Capitol Theatre

 

Address: 103 King St. East

History

Built in 1917 as Loew's Theatre, the building offered 2,259 seats and was the largest venue in Hamilton in its day. Originally a vaudeville house, it transitioned to a movie palace and was owned by the Famous Players chain between 1930 and 1946 when it was taken over by the Odeon company, renovated and renamed the Capitol.

The original auditorium was demolished after the cinema closed in 1971. What remains, the part Hartley and company are reviving, is the entrance lobby that stretched over an alley that runs parallel to King and King William streets"

Arnold, Steve. "Capitol revitalization capitalizes on Hamilton condos." Hamilton Spectator. 4 Jan 2016. Accessed 26 Jun 2017

www.thespec.com/news-story/6216663-capitol-revitalization-capitalizes-on-hamilton-condos/

Capitol Theatre - 1947  Arnold, Steve. "Capitol revitalization capitalizes on Hamilton condos." Hamilton Spectator. 4 Jan 2016. Accessed 26 Jun 2017    https://www.thespec.com/news-story/6216663-capitol-revitalization-capitalizes-on-hamilton-condos/

Capitol Theatre - 1947

Arnold, Steve. "Capitol revitalization capitalizes on Hamilton condos." Hamilton Spectator. 4 Jan 2016. Accessed 26 Jun 2017

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/6216663-capitol-revitalization-capitalizes-on-hamilton-condos/