Eglinton Grand, originally Eglinton Theatre – A National Historic Site

1936 - Looking north towards the Eglinton Theatre, once located at 400 Eglinton Ave. On the marquee, “Dangerous,” starring Bette Davis, was playing
1936 – Looking north towards the Eglinton Theatre, once located at 400 Eglinton Ave (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)

The Eglinton Grand, originally the Eglinton Theatre, is located at 400 Eglinton Ave W (west of Avenue Rd on the north side) in the Allenby/Forest Hill neighbourhoods of Toronto.

Eglinton Theatre History

The Eglinton Theatre was the idea of an Italian immigrant, Agostino Arrigo Sr. In 1932, he and Famous Players agreed to build the theatre together.

Built in 1935/36, architects Kaplan & Sprachman designed the theatre in the Art Deco style. The gala grand opening was on April 15, 1936, and the movie “King of Burlesque,” starring Jack Oakie, was screened.

With its distinctively ornamented sign tower and neon lettering, the Eglinton Theatre was advertised as “The Show Place of Toronto.” The new theatre featured luxurious chairs and air-conditioning with prices ranging from 25¢ to 45¢.

Some of the blockbuster movies shown at this single-screen theatre included The Sound of Music, Star Wars and Titanic. The Eglinton Theatre had a 65+ year run, closing in 2002.

2020 - Eglinton Theatre was once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd on the north side. Today the Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue, occupies the Art Deco building
2020 – Eglinton Theatre was once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd on the north side. Today the Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue, occupies the Art Deco building

Historic Designation

In 2003, the historic theatre was converted into a special events venue called The Eglinton Grand. The landmark has been beautifully restored to its original grandeur with period furniture, rich woods and exquisite marble.

The theatre received heritage designation from the City of Toronto in 1983 and a National Historic Site of Canada in 1993. “The Eglinton Theatre is one of the best examples of Art Deco style in Canadian theatres,” said Parks Canada.

Eglinton Theatre Photos

2020 - Eglinton Theatre was once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd on the north side. Today the Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue, occupies the Art Deco building
2020 – Eglinton Theatre was once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd on the north side. Today the Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue, occupies the Art Deco building
1936 - The Eglinton Theatre on opening night. On the marquee, “King of Burlesque,” starring Warner Baxter and Jack Oakie, was playing. Today, the former theatre is home to The Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue
1936 – The Eglinton Theatre on opening night. On the marquee, “King of Burlesque,” starring Warner Baxter and Jack Oakie, was playing. Today, the former theatre is home to The Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
2021 - Entrance to The Eglinton Grand at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd. Notice the ticket booth for the former Eglinton Theatre
2021 – Entrance to The Eglinton Grand at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd. Notice the ticket booth for the former Eglinton Theatre
1936 - Looking north towards the Eglinton Theatre, once located at 400 Eglinton Ave. On the marquee, “Dangerous,” starring Bette Davis, was playing
1936 – Looking north towards the Eglinton Theatre, once located at 400 Eglinton Ave. On the marquee, “Dangerous,” starring Bette Davis, was playing (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
2021 - Looking northwest towards The Eglinton Grand at 400 Eglinton Ave W. The historic building was once home to the Eglinton Theatre
2021 – Looking northwest towards The Eglinton Grand at 400 Eglinton Ave W. The historic building was once home to the Eglinton Theatre
1936 - The entrance and ticket booth of Eglinton Theatre. The movie “A Tale of Two Cities,” starring Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan and Edna May Oliver, was playing
1936 – The entrance and ticket booth of Eglinton Theatre. The movie “A Tale of Two Cities,” starring Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan and Edna May Oliver, was playing (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1936 - The Eglinton Theatre's Art-Deco style lobby
1936 – The Eglinton Theatre’s Art-Deco style lobby (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1947 - Eglinton Theatre lobby
1947 – Eglinton Theatre lobby (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1947 - Eglinton Theatre lobby, the movie “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer,” starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple, was playing
1947 – Eglinton Theatre lobby, the movie “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer,” starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple, was playing (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1936 - Eglinton Theatre lobby
1936 – Eglinton Theatre lobby (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1936 – The auditorium at the Eglinton Theatre
1936 – The auditorium at the Eglinton Theatre (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1936 – The interior at the Eglinton Theatre
1936 – The interior at the Eglinton Theatre (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1936 – The interior at the Eglinton Theatre
1936 – The interior at the Eglinton Theatre (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1936 – The auditorium at the Eglinton Theatre
1936 – The auditorium at the Eglinton Theatre (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
Source
1936 – The interior at the Eglinton Theatre
1936 – The interior at the Eglinton Theatre (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1947 - Eglinton Theatre entrance, the movie “Repeat Performance,” starring Louis Hayward, Joan Leslie and Richard Basehart, was playing
1947 – Eglinton Theatre entrance, the movie “Repeat Performance,” starring Louis Hayward, Joan Leslie and Richard Basehart, was playing (Mandel Sprachman Architect Fonds, photo taken at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 122, Series 881, File 345)
1947 - Eglinton Theatre was once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd on the north side. On the marquee, “Dear Ruth,” starring Joan Caulfield, William Holden and Edward Arnold, was playing
1947 – Eglinton Theatre was once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W, west of Avenue Rd on the north side. On the marquee, “Dear Ruth,” starring Joan Caulfield, William Holden and Edward Arnold, was playing (Archives of Ontario RG 56-11)
2022 - The entrance, ticket booth, marquee and neon sign of the former Eglinton Theatre once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W. Today, the building is home to the Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue
2022 – The entrance, ticket booth, marquee and neon sign of the former Eglinton Theatre once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W. Today, the building is home to the Eglinton Grand, an entertainment venue
2021 - Looking east towards the entrance, ticket booth, marquee and neon sign of The Eglinton Grand at 400 Eglinton Ave W. The building was once home to the historic Eglinton Theatre
2021 – Looking east towards the entrance, ticket booth, marquee and neon sign of The Eglinton Grand at 400 Eglinton Ave W. The building was once home to the historic Eglinton Theatre
2021 - Looking northwest towards the Art Deco facade of the former Eglinton Theatre, once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W. Today, the building is home to the Eglinton Grand
2021 – Looking northwest towards the Art Deco facade of the former Eglinton Theatre, once located at 400 Eglinton Ave W. Today, the building is home to the Eglinton Grand
1937 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Eglinton Theatre
1937 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Eglinton Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
2022 - Architects Kaplan & Sprachman designed the Eglinton Theatre in the Art Deco style in 1935/36
2022 – Architects Kaplan & Sprachman designed the Eglinton Theatre in the Art Deco style in 1935/36
2022 - Eglinton Theatre plaque
2022 – Eglinton Theatre plaque
Source