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1 record – page 1 of 1.
Part Of
Harold S. Kaplan fonds
Architectural projects series
Loew's Theatre (189 Yonge St., Toronto) sub-series
Fonds 27; Series 1-1
Archival Descriptions
Part Of
Harold S. Kaplan fonds
Architectural projects series
Loew's Theatre (189 Yonge St., Toronto) sub-series
Material Format
architectural drawing
textual record
Physical Description
57 drawings : pencil on tracing paper, blueprints and other reproductions ; 72 x 114 cm or smaller
1 cm of textual records
Admin History/Bio
Built in 1913, Loew's Yonge Street Theatre and Winter Garden Theatre complex was the flagship of Marcus Loew's Canadian theatre chain. The theatres were designed by Thomas Lamb as a "double-decker" theatre, with the Winter Garden located seven-stories above the street-level Yonge Street Theatre. This was the only double-decker theatre built in Canada and one of less than a dozen built internationally. The design was considered economical in that it provided a greater amount of seating on a given piece of real estate while allowing the theatre operator to present the same daily show in two theatres. The shows included both vaudeville acts and silent movies.
In 1928, there was a major fire on the site and the Winter Garden Theatre was closed due to the decline in popularity of vaudeville. By 1930, the Yonge Street Theatre was solely a movie theatre, equipped for sound movies. Over the years it gradually fell into disrepair, but continued as a movie theatre until 1981. It was renamed the Elgin Theatre in 1978.
In 1981, the Elgin and Winter Garden were purchased by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, and in 1987 the foundation began a two and half year, $30 million restoration of the theatres. The theatres re-opened in Dec. 1989 exclusively for theatrical productions.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists of seating plans, blueprints of structural details, and floor plans, sections and elevations for successive alterations (to the entrance, lobby, basement, etc.) of the theatre. The sub-series includes a copy of a city building permit dating from 1934 for renovations carried out by Loew's Theatres Engineering Division. Some of the blueprints date from the original construction of the theatre in 1913.
The sub-series is organized into 9 sub-sub-series, corresponding to project dates of 1913, 1919, 1934, 1939, 1949 (two projects), 1952, 1957 and 1959. The earliest materials, such as those from 1913 and 1919, were not created by Kaplan & Sprachman, but were no doubt used as reference materials for their work at the theatre.
Please note that the blueprints of structural details such as columns and roof reinforcing beams may apply to the theatre complex as a whole, including the Winter Garden Theatre.
Title is derived from the formal titles of the drawings.
Name Access
Lamb, Thomas
Elgin Theatre (Toronto)
Winter Garden Theatre (Toronto)
Physical Condition
Some drawings are torn & damaged.
Some are discoloured or damaged by deteriorating pressure-sensitive tape.
Yonge Street (Toronto, Ont.)
Accession Number
Archival Descriptions

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