Elite Theatre

Portage la Prairie, MB R1N

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Additional Info

Firms: Green-Blankenstein-Russell and Associates

Previous Names: Empress Theatre

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Visit of Queen Mother 1939

Originally a livery stable, the Empress Theatre was opened in 1900. In 1938, it was rebuilt to the plans of architectural firm Green, Blankstein, Russell and renamed Elite Theatre. It was independently owned and operated by the Mellen family.

The Elite Theatre was closed in 1968 due to poor sales following the inception of TV & VCR’s.

It was converted into a dance hall, then finally became a pool hall. It was demolished many years ago.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 26, 2020 at 10:06 pm

The July 9, 1938 issue of Boxoffice had this brief item:

“Mr. Mellon [sic] of Portage la Prairie has started construction on a new theatre which will seat between 400 and 500. This house will stand on the site of the old Elite, which has been torn down.”
The man who rebuilt the Elite in 1938 was named Amasa E. Mellen, and according to this thumbnail biography he was the owner and operator of the Elite Theatre from 1907 until his death in 1949.

The architects for the rebuilding of the Elite Theatre were the Winnipeg firm Green, Blankstein, Russell (GBR) who also designed several other theaters in Canada, from Ontario to British Columbia.

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