Originally Allen’s Danforth Theatre, today’s The Danforth Music Hall, is located at 147 Danforth Ave (east of Broadview Ave on the south side) in the Riverdale neighbourhood of Toronto.
Built in 1919, architects Hymes, Feldman & Watson, and Charles Howard Crane designed the theatre in the Georgian Revival style for brothers Jule and Jay Allen. Advertised as “Canada’s First Super-Suburban Photoplay Palace,” the location was chosen as the neighbourhood was growing quickly since the completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct. The brothers were pioneers in the Canadian movie industry, building many theatres in the city.
In 1930, the theatre underwent alterations and reopened as the Century. In the 1970s, the venue started featuring live acts and was renamed The Music Hall and, in 2011, became known as The Danforth Music Hall.
The building received heritage status from the City of Toronto in 1985. The former Allen’s Danforth Theatre still features stylized “AT” symbols on its facade.
Other theatres in the city that were part of the Allen brothers’ chain include:
- Allen, later the Tivoli, once at Richmond St E and Victoria St
- Allen’s Beach once at Queen St E and Waverley Rd
- Allen’s Beaver once at Dundas St W, east of Pacific Ave
- Allen’s Bloor, today’s Lee’s Palace at Bloor St W, east of Bathurst St
- Allen’s College once at Dovercourt Rd and College St
- Allen’s Parkdale once at Queen St W and Triller Ave
- Allen’s St Clair once at Dufferin St and St Clair Ave W