Lansdowne Theatre, originally the Park Theatre, was once located at 683-685 Lansdowne Ave (north of Bloor St W on the east side) in the Bloordale Village/Wallace Emerson neighbourhood of Toronto.
The Park Theatre opened in 1914, showing live theatre. The building stretched from Lansdowne Ave to St Clarens Ave. Park Theatre later switched to a movie house also featuring vaudeville and amateur shows. About 1937, the theatre was renamed Lansdowne.
In 1958, new management took over the 900-seat theatre. While making updates, they found a stage, dressing rooms and 70 ft of fly scenery. In the Fall of that year, it opened as The Playhouse of Toronto with the production of Cock-a-Doodle Dandy. Mayor Nathan Phillips officially opened the theatre.
In the early-1960s, the theatre went back to showing movies. It also hosted wrestling and boxing matches, including a bout between John Lapadula and Salvador Brutzi. The space was used for union meetings too.
By the late-1960s/early-1970s, Greek films were being shown at the theatre under the name “Acropolis,” plus there were Saturday midnight shows. By 1974, the Toronto Yellow Pages showed the name Radio City Theatre & Film Exchange and, in 1977, reverted to the Lansdowne. The theatre closed in the late 1980s, and today, the site is home to retail space.
The Academy Theatre at Bloor St W and St Clarens Ave was just around the corner.
Lansdowne Theatre Photos
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Oct 2, 1958, pg 10
Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Feb 1, 1961, pg 15
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jul 30, 1963, pg 27
Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Sep 7, 1970, pg 48
Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Feb 3, 1973, pg 80