Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Old Empress

The Old Empress, originally uploaded by susanvg.
I had to pick something up in this neighbourhood, so I stopped to snap a picture. In my youth, this was the Empress Theatre, built in 1927. According to Wikipedia, the decor was influenced by the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922. The theatre has had many incarnations. It was first a burlesque theatre, then a movie theatre (how I first knew it). Then it was converted into a dinner theatre. Following this it became a repertory movie theatre (Cinema V). A fire gutted it and the building has fallen into disuse. There have been proposals for its resurrection, but so far money has not been available.

My connection to this building is quite personal. For a number of years I took dance classes on the second floor, two and sometimes three times a week. When the theatre was being converted into a dinner theatre, we briefly had to move our classes onto the stage. Then, we moved to another building. When the building was later transformed into Cinema V, I went to movies there. It's sad to see the old Empress abandonned. I hope somehow, it can be restored and become an asset to the community.

1 comment:

  1. It does have an Egyptian motif! So sad to see old buildings like this abandoned.