Seneca Queen Theatre

4624 Queen Street,
Niagara Falls, ON L2E 2L7

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Related Websites

Seneca Queen Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Cineplex Odeon, Famous Players

Architects: Jay I. English

Functions: Concerts, Live Performances, Movies, Special Events

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Seneca Theatre, Seneca Cinemas

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 905.353.9461

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News About This Theater

Mutiny on the Bounty premier

The Seneca Theatre was opened by Famous Players on September 20, 1940 with a seating capacity for 911. It was twinned in 1975 when Canadian Theatres took over. In 1978 Canadian Odeon had a go and in 1984 Cineplex Odeon owned the Seneca Cinemas.

Seating from 1979-1995: Cinema 1 569 seats, Cinema 2 211 seats for a total of 780 seats. Since the summer of 2009 it has been in use as a live theatre, but they moved out in 2014. Later in 2014 it reopened with 308 seats.

Contributed by Cine-Man

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

TivFan on November 6, 2012 at 12:37 am

The theatre is now officially named the Seneca Queen Theatre. It is the home of the Lyndesfarne Theatre Company. It has been presenting live theatre since mid-2012, and has a current season of productions scheduled to early 2013. Do a google search for the Lydesfarne and see matches for newspaper articles and their web site.

TivFan on November 6, 2012 at 12:55 am

The theatre location on the google street map is wrong. It locates the theatre at Queen and St. Clair Streets. The correct location is at Queen and St. Lawrence Streets. The Seneca can be seen on the google satellite shot: it is the second building from the corner of Lawrence St., with the white roof. The front and the rear of the building can be seen on the google street view. The address is 4624 Queen Street. The box office phone number is 905-356-2300 (web site info).

DavidDymond on November 6, 2012 at 10:33 am

This was a purpose built Famous Players Theatre. On all of their old theatres there would have been a maple leaf in green neon and somewhere the words “A Famous Players Theatre”! I see neither in the photographs. The old-time manager of this theatre was a gentleman named Jack Ward.

TivFan on November 7, 2012 at 1:06 am

Yo, Dave. The Tivoli in Hamilton had a great neon maple leaf logo. It was removed in the early l980’s and replaced with an “EVE” sign, when the Tivoli started showing “adult” films. There is also a leaf shaped sign on the Lincoln in St. Catharines, but this is probably a later back-lit style. On the two link photos of the Seneca, there is a sign on the lower front of the box office stating “A Famous Players Theatre” and the FP/leaf logo.

DavidDymond on February 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm

In 1952 when Famous Players Canadian Corporation had it’s annual convention in Niagara Falls and screenings of course at the Seneca, the famed movie producer Mr. Cecil B DeMille was in attendance of course Mr. DeMille was a Paramount Pictures stalwart and Famous Players being 100% owned by Paramount. By this time Mr. DeMille required a rocking chair to sit in and this was provided for him!!

Trolleyguy on September 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm

The most recent tenant, the Lyndesfame Theatre Projects, has moved out of this theatre.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on November 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

This theatre is currently open. Correct address is 4624 Queen St.

rivest266 on December 4, 2023 at 3:12 pm

Opened on September 20th, 1940 by Famous Players, taken over by Canadian Theatres on May 26th, 1972 and reopened as a twin cinema on October 7th, 1976.

Seneca Theatre openingSeneca Theatre opening 20 Sep 1940, Fri Niagara Falls Review (Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada)

50sSNIPES on December 4, 2023 at 3:55 pm

Information about the Seneca as of 1940 goes as follows: The front of the theater featured a gray stone trimmed with a Macotta base in black. On either side of the front of the theater are designs in stone depicting the meeting of the chiefs of the Five Nations. The original marquee is in a design of a streamlined war bonnet illuminated by incandescent and neon lighting. The original lobby has a casted plaster from natural birch bark and is surmounted by a then-modernistic mural painted by one of Canada’s foremost theatrical decorators led by Emmanuel Briffa, and the mural is illuminated by concealed neon tubing. The box office in front of the theater is treated in blue mirror topped with silver plaque and the mirror glass is etched in Indian designs.

There are floor mats by employing the Seneca “Hospitality Belt of Welcome” in a pattern. Shown at the left are the designs depicting the “Calling Of The Tribe”, the “Treaty Belt”, and the “Hospitality” belt, which are combined in the floor covering design. The lobby floor is covered in Roman Travertine Marble. Entering the theater auditorium featured a surprising feature where the patron first sees the beautiful Indian fireplace which rises to the ceiling. It is decorated with mirrors skillfully illuminated by concealed lights and flanked by carved feathers, tomahawks, and other Indian designs in plaster. Extending from either side of the fireplace are standee rails of plate glass which act as a break against draughts and outside sound. The air-conditioning system features a complete change of air every 90 seconds with 60,000 cubic feet of fresh water-washed and filtered air being constantly forced through many outlets into the theater.

The Seneca Theatre is the first movie house in Canada to have blacklights. The side wall lighting consists of 18 plaques designed in the shape of Seneca masks. These are circled by ultra-violent ray tubing giving the plaques a glowing fluorescent light. The ceiling is indirectly lighted by fixtures which are built into the ceiling itself and both fluorescent and incandescent lighting are employed. The front row is very unusual with the arranged seating known as the “front row vision”. This means that every patron will have an unobstructed view of the entire screen at all times no matter where you are seating. This was accomplished by grading the floor to a fixed position of the screen there by giving each person clear light over the person directly in front of him. The result is the semi-reserved of the floor slope toward the stage and a minimum angle from seats closer to the screen. The carpeting of the theater was also very dazzling with a copy of the “To-Ta-Da-Ho Belt” leading a colorful and attractive touch to the decorative scheme of the theater.

Inside the auditorium featured are rows of green restful streamlined 42-springed seats. The exit doors featured two large replicas of the “Door Keeper’s or Medicine Man’s Masks” of the Seneca Indians. These masks are 9x5ft wide and especially illuminated. The wall plaques alternate in two designs, one of which are exact duplicate of the “Door Keeper’s or Medicine Man’s Masks” and the other is the Charm or “Gah-Gonh-Sah Mask”. A dazzling curtain design was made of green velour fringed with rawhide thong with two Seneca symbols reproduced at the base. The first is a copy of the “Hiawatha Belt” worked in gold (which was the Great Council Belt of the Five Nations commemorating the founding of the League of the Iroquois). Each square represents a nation and the heart of the center of the Onondaga. Beneath this also has a running full-width of the curtain which is the “George Washington Covenant Belt” (the symbolic of the peace treaty between both the Indians and the United States during Washington’s presidency).

On opening night, then-Mayor George R. Inglis (along with his wife), Famous Players president Mr. L. Nathanson, delivered a special announcement before the cutting of the ribbon featuring a pair of silver scissors handed by Dorothy Hawkins. Other speakers also include W.L. Houck and Dr. A.B. Whytock. The Seneca was first managed by Jack V. Ward.

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