ByTowne Cinema

325 Rideau Street,
Ottawa, ON K1N 5Y4

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ByTowne Cinema (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Famous Players

Architects: Harold Solomon Kaplan, Abraham Sprachman

Firms: Kaplan & Sprachman

Functions: Movies (First Run), Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Nelson Theatre

Phone Numbers:
Manager: 613.789.4600

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News About This Theater

ByTowne Theatre

The 940 seat Nelson Theatre opened on February 10, 1947 with Patricia Roc in “Johnny Frenchman”. The Nelson Theatre had a successful forty year run, and the theatre closed in 1987.

It was taken over by the independent operators who had operated the Towne Cinema after its lease had expire. It was renovated and reopened in June 1989 as the ByTowne Cinema with a reduced seating capacity of 770.

The ByTowne Cinema became Ottawa’s premier venue for first run art, independent, and foreign films. It was closed on December 31, 2020. It was reopened on October 10, 2021.

Contributed by Chad Irish, Alain Miguelez

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

herve on September 30, 2002 at 9:29 pm

i wish to know if the bytowne cinema will display the movie “la turbulence des fluides” from Manon Briand

DavidZornig on May 29, 2019 at 5:29 pm

March 15, 1974 photo added credit City of Ottawa Archives CA024656.

rivest266 on November 21, 2020 at 12:27 am

Opening as Nelson on February 10th, 1947. English and French grand opening ads from the Citizen and Le Droit posted. Nelson theatre openingNelson theatre opening Sat, Feb 8, 1947 – 15 · The Ottawa Citizen (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) ·

Hugger1 on October 11, 2021 at 5:26 am

Reopened under new ownership on October 10, 2021.

MSC77 on December 31, 2021 at 7:50 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Nelson’s lengthy run is mentioned in the piece.

MSC77 on August 26, 2023 at 10:04 pm

This venue’s 70mm presentations history is included in the recently-published article “70mm Presentations in Ottawa: A Chronology of 70mm Large Format Exhibition, 1959-Present”.

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