132 architectural drawings : pencil (some on tracing paper, some hand col. using pencil crayon), blueprints and other reproductions ; 76 x 106 cm or smaller
5 photographs : b&w ; 44 x 55 cm or smaller
One of sixteen theatres in Canada designed by the well-known architect Thomas W. Lamb, the Uptown Theatre opened in 1920 as a movie and vaudeville theatre of almost 3000 seats, and was later the first theatre in Toronto equipped for sound movies. In 1960 the Uptown's main auditorium was destroyed by a major fire. Kaplan & Sprachman participated in the theatre's subsequent renovation.
In 1969 the Uptown was split into a five screen theatre through conversion of the theatre's balcony, backstage and basement areas. The Uptown was closed and demolished in late 2003 following the 28th Annual Toronto International Film Festival after the cinema operator, Famous Players, decided to close it and other theatres rather than comply with an Ontario Human Rights Commission order to make the theatres fully wheelchair-accessible.
Scope and Content
Sub-series consists of seating plans, blueprints of structural details, floor plans, sections and elevations for successive alterations (to the entrance, lobby, escalator, etc.) of the theatre, as well as several photographs of the Uptown's entrance and auditorium. The sub-series includes a number of hand-coloured drawings of the main auditorium dating from 1962, with paint and fabric samples attached, apparently associated with the re-building of the auditorium following the fire of 1960. The sub-series also includes a set of photo-reproductions of Thomas Lamb's original 1919 plans for the theatre, acquired by Kaplan & Sprachman in 1960.
The sub-series is arranged in 9 sub-sub-series corresponding to project dates of 1919, 1936, 1945, 1949, 1960, 1962, and 1968. The final sub-sub-series relates to work done by Kaplan after the dissolution of Kaplan & Sprachman.
In several cases, a sub-sub-series includes drawings and plans from earlier projects, used as reference materials for the current project.
Lamb, Thos. W. (Thomas White), 1871-1942
Uptown Theatre (Toronto, Ont.)
Some drawings torn or water-damaged. Some are discoloured or damaged by deteriorating pressure-sensitive tape.