Photographer: Lucia Remedios
Location: Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto
The pair of theatres (Winter Garden and Elgin) were originally built in 1913 to show vaudeville acts and silent films. Each theatre was intended for a different class of patron. The gold-and-marble, domed, 'hard-top' lower theatre (originally called Loew's Yonge Street Theatre) was home to continuous vaudeville and movies. The upper-level Winter Garden is an 'atmospheric' country garden under the stars, painted with murals of plants and garden trellises, with tree trunk columns and lantern lights. The upper theatre was built for the 'Big Time' vaudeville market and had reserved seats at premium prices, catering to affluent patrons.
By 1928, feature-length silent films were popular, but sound films were just coming into their own. In 1928, the lower theatre was converted to show sound films and the upper theatre was closed. The Winter Garden remained shuttered for about sixty years. Left inside it was a large collection of vaudeville scenery, now the world's largest surviving collection. By the 1970s, the Elgin was showing mainly b movies and soft-core pornography.
Print Quality: Archival Digital Fine-Art print on Hahnemühle paper.