Repurposed Art Deco Allenby Theatre On The Danforth: Exploring Toronto Part VIII
A while back I was driving down Danforth Avenue and I passed an Esso & Tim Hortons which was – to say the least – different from most every other I have seen. The address for this building is 1213 Danforth Ave (map).
I grew up in North York and didn’t spend a lot of time in The Danforth area of the city so seeing this structure was completely new to me. What struck me was that it clearly was no longer a movie theater even though the facade appeared to be one. And those movie titles…”Tim Hortons”? “On The Run”? Those weren’t movie titles, they were store names! I looked into it some more once I got home to a computer and found this document from the City of Toronto – 1213 Danforth Avenue (Allenby Theatre) – Alterations to a Designated Heritage Property (PDF Link) – which identifies the theater building as a “Designated Heritage Property” as the title indicates. It also gives some great details into the history of the building which you can find quoted below the next picture:
The Allenby Theatre (more recently known as the Roxy Theatre), was constructed in 1935 by the partnership of Kaplan and Sprachman, the firm responsible for between 70 and 80% of all movie theatres constructed in Canada between 1921 and 1950.
The Allenby Theatre was designated by the City in 2006 as a representative example of the style of theatre constructed between World War I and II with notable Art Deco / Art Moderne detailing…
For more on the theater and for more pictures check out this article from Torontoist dated October 19, 2010: “From Double Feature To Double-Double.”
Pretty interesting redevelopment of an old building isn’t it? I love finding these cool little things in a city and if you know of any in Toronto/The Greater Toronto Area you think I should check out let me know!
Also, if you or your family members have any memories of going to the Roxy/Allenby I would really love to read them in the comments below.