Odeon Hyland Theatre was once located at 1501 Yonge St (opposite Delisle Ave, north of St Clair Ave on the east side) in the Deer Park neighbourhood of Toronto.
Built in 1947/48, architects Jay Isadore English and Leslie Haggar Kemp designed the Odeon Hyland. The theatre was decorated in blue and gold colours and had a total of 1,355 seats on the main floor and balcony. The exterior featured a giant neon “ODEON” sign with “Hyland” just above the large marquee.
On November 22, 1948, the theatre opened with the Canadian premiere of Hamlet. The Oscar-winning film starred Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons and John Laurie.
The Odeon Hyland was one of five theatres that were part of the Odeon chain, owned by J Arthur Rank. The other four included the Carlton, Danforth, Fairlawn and the Humber.
In 1972, the theatre was divided into two auditoriums. It took only 24 days to complete. The lower level became the Hyland One and had 790 seats, while the balcony was converted into the Hyland Two, a 492-seat theatre.
In the mid-1980s, the Hyland became part of the Cineplex Odeon chain. The theatre closed in February 2001, and the building was demolished two years later.
Today the site of the former theatre is home to a mixed-use building.
Hyland Theatre Photos
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Nov 22, 1948, pg 13
Boxoffice: Odeon Converts Hyland to Twin in 24 Days: Oct 16, 1972, pg 26
The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Dec 24, 1984, pg M10
Toronto Star Newspaper Archives: Feb 17, 2001, pg E1
Canadian Journal of Film Studies: Nathan L Nathanson Introduces Canadian Odeon by Paul S Moore, Fall 2003; 12, 2