Regent Theatre, originally the Belsize – Once in Davisville Village

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The former Regent Theatre, originally Belsize and later the Crest Theatre, is located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd (north of Belsize Dr on the east side) in the Davisville Village neighbourhood of Toronto.

Built in 1926/27, the Belsize was designed by architect Murray Brown to host movies and live stage performances. The theatre had 725+ seats on the main floor and another 205 on the balcony.

After a renovation in 1953, it was renamed the Crest Theatre. For a few decades, it was solely a live stage theatre, and in 1971, it started showing movies again.

The building received heritage status from the city in 1984. In the late 1980s, after a significant makeover, the theatre reopened as The Regent. Initially, the repertory theatre screened classic and mainstream films, later transitioning to independent and foreign films.

In 2021, The Regent closed its doors permanently, and the property sold the following year. The building has found new life as plans have been made to transform it into a neighbourhood art centre.

Regent Theatre Photos

Late 1920s – Looking northwest towards the Belsize Theatre at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd
Late 1920s – Looking northwest towards the Belsize Theatre at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 27)
1942 - Belsize Theatre, later renamed Crest and now the Regent Theatre, is located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd, north of Belsize Dr on the east side. On the marquee, “It Happened in Flatbush,” starring Lloyd Nolan and Carole Landis, was playing
1942 – Belsize Theatre, later renamed Crest and now the Regent Theatre, is located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd, north of Belsize Dr on the east side. On the marquee, “It Happened in Flatbush, ” starring Lloyd Nolan and Carole Landis, was playing (Archives of Ontario I0012591)
March 16, 2024 – Looking northeast towards the former Regent Theatre from Mt Pleasant Rd
March 16, 2024 – Looking northeast towards the former Regent Theatre from Mt Pleasant Rd
May 29, 1933 - Looking north on Mt Pleasant Rd from Belsize Dr towards Belsize Theatre. The theatre opened in 1927, was later renamed The Crest and is now Regent Theatre
May 29, 1933 – Looking north on Mt Pleasant Rd from Belsize Dr towards Belsize Theatre. The theatre opened in 1927, was later renamed The Crest and is now Regent Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 9735)
1942 – The auditorium and balcony at the Belsize Theatre
1942 – The auditorium and balcony at the Belsize Theatre (Archives of Ontario I0012590)
Undated photo – The auditorium at the Belsize Theatre
Undated photo – The auditorium at the Belsize Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 27)
Circa 1930 – The lobby at the Belsize Theatre advertising movies at the theatre, including "Hold Everything," starring Joe E. Brown, Winnie Lightner, and Georges Carpentier, was released in 1930
Circa 1930 – The lobby at the Belsize Theatre advertising movies at the theatre, including “Hold Everything,” starring Joe E. Brown, Winnie Lightner, and Georges Carpentier, was released in 1930 (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 27)
January 5, 2020 - Regent Theatre located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd
January 5, 2020 – Regent Theatre located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd
Circa 1942 – The lobby at the Belsize Theatre. Notice "Footlight Serenade," starring John Payne, Betty Grable and Victor Mature, released in 1942 being advertised
Circa 1942 – The lobby at the Belsize Theatre. Notice “Footlight Serenade,” starring John Payne, Betty Grable and Victor Mature, released in 1942 being advertised (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 27)
Circa 1992 – On the Regent Theatre marquee, "Like Water for Chocolate," starring Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos and ReginaTorné, was playing and released in 1992
Circa 1992 – On the Regent Theatre marquee, “Like Water for Chocolate,” starring Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos and ReginaTorné, was playing and released in 1992 (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 27)
1932 - The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Belsize Theatre
1932 – The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Belsize Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
1951 - Crest Theatre, originally named Belsize and now the Regent Theatre, located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd. On the marquee, “The Prowler” starring Van Heflin and “Danger Zone” starring Hugh Beaumont were playing
1951 – Crest Theatre, originally named Belsize and now the Regent Theatre, located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd. On the marquee, “The Prowler” starring Van Heflin and “Danger Zone” starring Hugh Beaumont were playing (City of Toronto Archives, Series 372, Sub Series 58, Item 2174)
1950s - Crest Theatre, originally Belsize and recently, the Regent Theatre, is located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd. On the marquee, “That Forsyte Woman,” starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon and “Trapped,” starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, were playing and both released in 1949
1950s – Crest Theatre, originally Belsize and recently, the Regent Theatre, is located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd. On the marquee, “That Forsyte Woman,” starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon and “Trapped,” starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, were playing and both released in 1949 (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 27)
August 1960 and January 1970 – The Crest Theatre
August 1960 and January 1970 – The Crest Theatre (City of Toronto Archives, Ken Webster Fonds 251, Series 1278, File 27)
1961- The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Crest Theatre
1961- The Toronto City Directory showing the address of the Crest Theatre (Toronto Public Library)
2021 - Regent Theatre is located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd, north of Belsize Dr on the east side. It opened in 1927 and was originally named Belsize and later the Crest Theatre
2021 – Regent Theatre is located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd, north of Belsize Dr on the east side. It opened in 1927 and was originally named Belsize and later the Crest Theatre
2021 - Regent Theatre sign, plus notice the crest with the initial "B" and just below it, the word "Belsize"
2021 – Regent Theatre sign, plus notice the crest with the initial “B” and just below it, the word “Belsize”
2021 - Regent Theatre sign and marquee located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd
2021 – Regent Theatre sign and marquee located at 551 Mt Pleasant Rd
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