Casino Theatre, later the Civic Square & Festival

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Casino Theatre, later the Civic Square and then Festival Theatre, was once located at 87-95 Queen St W (west of Bay St on the south side) in Downtown Toronto.

Opening in 1936, architects Kaplan & Sprachman designed the $200,000 theatre. The theatre featured 1,100 seats with 300 seats in the mezzanine, air-conditioning and a wide, shallow layout so that everyone had a “front-row” view of the stage.

The theatre presented variety entertainment on the stage, along with movies. On opening day, prices ranged from 16¢ in the morning to 35¢ for evening performances.

When the Casino and the Lux Burlesque both closed in 1962, the Victory was the city’s last remaining burlesque theatre at the time.

The Casino reopened as Civic Square Theatre and, in 1963, became the Festival. The theatre closed in 1965, and the building, along with the rest of the block, was demolished that same year.

Casino Theatre Photos

1936 - Casino Theatre was once located at 87-95 Queen St W, south side and opposite what is now the new City Hall
1936 – Casino Theatre was once located at 87-95 Queen St W, south side and opposite what is now the new City Hall (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 1107)
1936 - Casino Theatre preparing for opening day. It was once located at 87-95 Queen St W, west of Bay St
1936 – Casino Theatre preparing for opening day. It was once located at 87-95 Queen St W, west of Bay St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 1106)
1964 - Festival Theatre, originally Casino Theatre, was once located at 87-95 Queen St W, between Bay St and York St, on the south side. Notice the Broadway Theatre a few doors down
1964 – Festival Theatre, originally Casino Theatre, was once located at 87-95 Queen St W, between Bay St and York St, on the south side. Notice the Broadway Theatre a few doors down (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 15, ID 17)
2022 - Casino Theatre was once located on Queen St W opposite what is now the new City Hall
2022 – Casino Theatre was once located on Queen St W opposite what is now the new City Hall
1937 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of the Casino Theatre
1937 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of the Casino Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1962 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Civic Square Theatre
1962 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Civic Square Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1965 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Festival Theatre
1965 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Festival Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
Source
  • The Toronto Daily Star Newspaper Archives: Apr 11, 1936, pg 9
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Dec 20, 1962, pg 13
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jul 21, 1965, pg 27
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Feb 30, 1980, pg 7
  • Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
  • Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives
  • Toronto City Directory 1937, 1962 & 1965 from the Toronto Public Library

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