Imperial Vaudeville, later Paulton, Rialto & Empire Theatre

Posted:

Empire Theatre, originally Imperial Vaudeville, was once located at 408 Queen St E (at Tracy St, east of Parliament St on the north side) in Toronto’s Trefann Court/Corktown neighbourhood.

The Imperial Vaudeville opened in the mid-1910s. The theatre had a few name changes during its time, including the Paulton for a few years in the mid-1920s, the Rialto until the mid-1940s and the Empire until it closed in the early-1960s.

The building that housed the theatre was constructed in 1914. The Archdiocese of Toronto hired architect CJ Reid to design the building, which also contained St Paul’s Parish Hall and commercial space – the theatre at 408, St Paul’s Parish Hall at 412 and retail space at 414-416 Queen St E. The building received heritage status from the City of Toronto in 2020.

Today, the building is home to Good Shepherd Ministries’ homeless shelter.

Imperial Vaudeville & Empire Theatre Photos

1919 - Looking northwest towards the Imperial Vaudeville Theatre at 408, St Paul's Parish Hall at 412 and commercial space at 414-416 Queen St E
1919 – Looking northwest towards the Imperial Vaudeville Theatre at 408, St Paul’s Parish Hall at 412 and commercial space at 414-416 Queen St E (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 825)
1956 - Empire Theatre, originally Imperial Vaudeville, was once located at 408 Queen St E, at Tracy St on the north side. On the marquee, "Bride of the Gorilla," starring Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney Jr and Raymond Burr and "The Fighter," starring Richard Conte, were playing
1956 – Empire Theatre, originally Imperial Vaudeville, was once located at 408 Queen St E, at Tracy St on the north side. On the marquee, “Bride of the Gorilla,” starring Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney Jr and Raymond Burr and “The Fighter,” starring Richard Conte, were playing (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 10)
1959 - Looking northwest towards the St Paul's Parish Hall building, also home to the Empire Theatre and other commercial space at 408-416 Queen St E, at Tracy St
1959 – Looking northwest towards the St Paul’s Parish Hall building, also home to the Empire Theatre and other commercial space at 408-416 Queen St E, at Tracy St (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds, Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 10)
2022 - The Good Shepherd Ministries' homeless shelter at 412 Queen St E was once home to the theatre, St Paul's Parish Hall and other commercial space
2022 – The Good Shepherd Ministries’ homeless shelter at 412 Queen St E was once home to the theatre, St Paul’s Parish Hall and other commercial space
1916 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Imperial Vaudeville Theatre at 408, St Paul's Parish Hall at 412 and commercial space at 414-416 Queen St E
1916 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Imperial Vaudeville Theatre at 408, St Paul’s Parish Hall at 412 and commercial space at 414-416 Queen St E (Toronto Public Library)
1924 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Paulton Theatre
1924 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Paulton Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1926 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Rialto Theatre
1926 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Rialto Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1945 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of the Empire Theatre
1945 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address and phone number of the Empire Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
Source

Stay Connected

23,624FollowersFollow
103FollowersFollow
8,925FollowersFollow