Empire Theatre – Once Located on Temperance St

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Empire Theatre was once located at 23-27 Temperance St (west of Yonge St on the south side) in Toronto’s Financial District.

From the Toronto City Directories, the theatre opened as the Empire in 1899. It was located in a building once home to Temperance Hall. Within two years, the theatre was renamed Royal, then Star Theatre featuring burlesque entertainment in 1902.

In 1922, it reverted to its original name, the Empire Theatre. It closed in the mid-1930s. Today, the Bay Adelaide Centre East Tower occupies the space where the theatre once stood.

Empire Theatre photos

Early 1930s - Empire Theatre was once located at 23-27 Temperance St, west of Yonge St on the south side
Early 1930s – Empire Theatre was once located at 23-27 Temperance St, west of Yonge St on the south side (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 3991)
2022 - The Bay Adelaide Centre East Tower occupies the space where the Empire and Star Theatre once stood
2022 – The Bay Adelaide Centre East Tower occupies the space where the Empire and Star Theatre once stood
1987 – Looking east along Temperance St from Bay St towards Yonge St. Empire Theatre, formerly Star Theatre, was once located at 23-27 Temperance St
1987 – Looking east along Temperance St from Bay St towards Yonge St. Empire Theatre, formerly Star Theatre, was once located at 23-27 Temperance St (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 124, File 3, ID 146)
Circa 1913 - Looking towards the southeast corner of Bay St and Temperance St. Notice the advertising pointing in the direction of Star Theatre Burlesque
Circa 1913 – Looking towards the southeast corner of Bay St and Temperance St. Notice the advertising pointing in the direction of Star Theatre Burlesque (Toronto Public Library E8-222)
Circa 1912 - Bay St and Temperance St, southeast corner. Notice the advertising pointing towards the direction of Star Theatre Burlesque. Also, the building with the tower was a fire station
Circa 1912 – Bay St and Temperance St, southeast corner. Notice the advertising pointing towards the direction of Star Theatre Burlesque. Also, the building with the tower was a fire station (Toronto Public Library B13-26)
1920s – Billboard for the Empire Theatre advertising "Lavender Ladies"
1920s – Billboard for the Empire Theatre advertising “Lavender Ladies” (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 2688)
1920s – Advertising "The Ghost Train" on a billboard for the Empire Theatre
1920s – Advertising “The Ghost Train” on a billboard for the Empire Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 2714)
1920s – Billboard for the Empire Theatre advertising "The Farmer's Wife"
1920s – Billboard for the Empire Theatre advertising “The Farmer’s Wife” (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 2712)
1920s – Advertising "Loyalties" on a billboard for the Empire Theatre
1920s – Advertising “Loyalties” on a billboard for the Empire Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1488, Series 1230, Item 2718)
1922 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Empire Theatre
1922 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Empire Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1909 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Star
1909 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Star Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1902 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Star Theatre
1902 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Star Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1901 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Royal Theatre, later Empire Theatre
1901 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Royal Theatre, later Empire Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1899 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Empire Theatre
1899 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Empire Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1910 - Goads Map showing the location of the Star Theatre, later Empire Theatre
1910 – Goads Map showing the location of the Star Theatre, later Empire Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
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