Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

189 Yonge Street,
Toronto, ON M5B 1M4

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Showing 1 - 25 of 44 comments

robboehm on December 2, 2020 at 8:58 pm

MarkNYLA no full time projectors in either theatre? The Elgin was once a movie theatre.

MarkNYLA on December 2, 2020 at 8:02 pm

Both the Elgin and Winter Garden have projectors installed by Christie every September for the Toronto Film Festival. It’s a fairly major venue for the TIFF.

robboehm on December 2, 2020 at 11:25 am

When I was there they were preparing for an event in the Winter Garden. They had portable projectors since, apparently, the Winter Garden had never been outfitted for films.

robboehm on April 3, 2020 at 1:12 pm

I had taken the tour quite a number of years ago when I was visiting friends. I noticed the sign in front of the theatre announcing the tour that day and hung around for it. Don’t remember what the book cost, but that’s probably different too.

robboehm on April 1, 2020 at 2:23 pm

If you read the book carefully you note that some of the original design of the entrance was only realized after the restoration. I wonder when they started charging for the tour.

robboehm on January 27, 2020 at 1:21 pm

If you’re ever in Toronto the free tour is a must for all theatre lovers.

DavidZornig on January 27, 2020 at 9:06 am

Current article with photos.


DavidZornig on April 23, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Unfortunately I am not computer savvy enough to do that. I copy & paste them, and you should be able to copy, right click & open them up in a new window. I found this recent batch of previously unlisted Toronto theatres on the Vintage Toronto Facebook page. I then searched the name of each one with the words “Theatre Toronto Taylor History” to bring up those specific links.

robboehm on April 23, 2019 at 1:31 pm

David thank you for all the histories you have given us access to. In the future would it be possible for you to enter them in such a manner that we can just click on the addresses as a direct link rather than the necessity of coding each one ourselves?

DavidZornig on April 23, 2019 at 9:31 am

Full history with photos in below two links.



bigjoe59 on September 8, 2018 at 12:41 pm


to dickneeds111, I agree with you a well run theater is a we’ll run theater regardless of where its located. I was just wondering out of curiosity how many of the grand old movie theaters that were built from the get go specially as 1st run venues have continued to operate as such since the day they opened.

dickneeds111 on September 6, 2018 at 10:18 pm

To Big Joe. What is the difference between a downtown 1st run or a neighborhood 2-3 run. They are all movie palaces like the Castro. Even in the Golden Yrs some neighborhood theatres occassionaly had 1st runs along with a downtown theatre. Boston had some, namely he Fenway and Lowes State. They weren.t exactly downtown and they still aren.t. They have different names and are now used as Music Halls. Don.t be so fussy. Just because a film Palace wasn.t downtown doesn.t make it any less different.

davidcoppock on February 1, 2018 at 12:39 pm

The theatre appered on an episode of Colin & justin’s home heist(season 2, episode 23 – Lost in space) showing the entrance and the foyer. The theatre has it’s own page on Wikipedia.

bufffilmbuff on December 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Just saw THE SHAPE OF WATER and part of the movie was shot here. Remarkable.

rivest266 on March 1, 2014 at 5:43 pm

The December 15th, 1913 opening ad as Loew’s can be found in the photo section.

bigjoe59 on July 23, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Hello Again-

i hope i understood my fellow posters replies correctly. to which that none of the grand old movie theaters or palaces to use the popular term built in Toronto specifically to be 1st run houses are still in operation as such from the day they opened. this puts Toronto in the same boat as NYC, Chicago and San Francisco.

also to my fellow poster’s comment on the Castro Theater in San Francisco. the Castro is most certainly a movie palace and it deserves our admiration in that its in damn good shape and has continued in operation since it opened in 1922. but and there’s always a but. my original post or inquiry was about grand old movie theaters/ palaces that were built from the get go specifically as 1st run theaters. unfortunately the Castro doesn’t qualify since its always been my understanding that the theater was built from the get go as a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater.

telliott on July 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

As a native Torontonian I can attest that all of the original movie palaces (Imperial, Loews, Loews Uptown, Sheas etc) are gone or have other uses, most notably the Imperial, now the Ed Mirvish legitmate theatre and Loews, the Elgin/Winter Garden. There are a few single screens left, the Fox and Revue being the oldest, then the Kingsway, Royal, Mt Pleasant, Regent and Bloor. The single screen Eglinton which opened as a neighbourhood theatre in 1936 and went on to become one of the most successful roadshow houses in the city is now an event theatre (weddings, banquets etc) as is the single screen Capitol.

CSWalczak on July 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I think the last operating true movie palace in downtown Toronto was probably the Uptown, also a Thomas Lamb design of the 1920s, which closed and was razed in 2003. There are at least two single screen theaters still operating in Toronto that date to the 1940s or even earlier; the Kingsway and the Bloor. The twinned Fox in the eastern part of the city dates to 1914. There is also the twinned Humber, which opened in 1949 (although its current status seems a bit uncertain).

Regarding San Francisco: most San Franciscans as well as myself certainly regard the landmark Castro Theater as a palace (though perhaps less elegant than say the long gone Fox and Paramount there). Also there is an operating porn theater, the Market Street Cinema which had long and distinguished history; it was once a Grauman house and a Loew’s and hosted a number of roadshows in the 1960s before it became what it is now. San Francisco still has some historic and classic neighborhood houses; look at the San Francisco list of theaters for some of these survivors.

robboehm on July 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

From my Toronto trips I would say that anything that is still intact from “the day” is now used for concert or legit presentations. There are very few single screens in Toronto. If you want to do some research just enter Toronto and look at every theatre. If CT says single screen and open then look at the individual entries for details. And on that subject, the Beacon in NYC is a concert venue. There are a few Broadway Theatres which have films in their history, but I can’t recall if any of them were originally film or just showed films at some point. Also, on Staten Island, the St. George has been beautifully restored and sometimes shows films. Some fabulous pictures on the site. Also check out the Hudson in NYC. Great restoration. A lot of the biggies became churches. The Albemarle in Brooklyn is amazing.

In San Francisco, the cavernous Golden Gate is used for live theatre. I believe it started out with films

bigjoe59 on July 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Hello Again-

i admit i’m not the world’s best typist. so in my post it should read “even if they’re still standing”.

bigjoe59 on July 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Hello To Canadian Neighbors-

i’m from NYC and have been posting a question on pages for big cities of which Toronto is certainly one. here goes- the big era of grand old movie theater building or palaces to use the popular term in the U.S. was approx. 1913-1941. now none of the grand old movie theaters/palaces built in this period in NYC specifically as 1st run theaters continue to do so if if they’re still standing. now L.A. has Grauman’s Chinese among a few and Washington,D.C. has the Uptown but like NYC San Francisco has zippo. so i was wondering if any of the grand old movie theaters/ palaces built in Toronto in the above mentioned period have continued to operate as 1st run venues in more or less their original condition since the day they opened.

robboehm on July 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

That was then. The restoration is superb. They even included mirrors in the lobby which were part of the original design but not installed at the time of consturction. As I commented above, this is a must see. Unfortunately the Winter Garden, under the restoration/landmark rule does not have a regular projection system. When they do have a film presentation, which they did when last I was there, they had to bring in “portable” equipment.

socal09 on June 7, 2011 at 2:15 am

The interior of the upstairs auditorium, The Winter Garden, is amazing with all the leaves dangling from the ceiling.

robboehm on February 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

If you’re ever in Toronto, make sure you take the free tour.