Sometimes historical research can lead an unsuspecting practitioner into surprising territory. . . . This story begins with the name "Truax."Read More
From women and children to a supposedly ne’re-do-well Irishman – from visiting Roma to a famous local Mississauga Ojibway athlete and his wife – from the teenage working-class Cathleen McCarthy to the Grants, a relatively well-off family – attendance at early motion pictures shows a surprising diversity.Read More
By the 1920s a mass audience was appreciating the thrills and spills of the modern moving picture show. People in Peterborough could see movies daily at the Capitol and Royal theatres on George Street, the Regent on Hunter, and occasionally, too, at the city’s most prestigious spot, the Grand Opera House.Read More
On Saturday, Feb. 24, 1928, a couple of young Peterborough boys went to the Grand Opera House to see one of the “big” movies of the time: Wings.Read More
The Royal Theatre, with this dazzling front entrance, opened just before Christmas in 1908.Read More
The now-tawdry theatre façade with its plastering of posters had lost a good deal of its original lustre over the years.Read More
The Empire Theatre was established by veterinarian Fred Robinson towards the end of July 1914, just before the beginning of the First World War.Read More
The doors are shut, but the sign still promises “Pictures and Music That Excell.”Read More
In small towns all over, including Peterborough . . . the array of motion picture theatres was a “boon” to local businesses.Read More
The Shepperley Sisters appeared at the Crystal on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, Feb. 7th to 9th, 1910, shortly after appearing at Massey Hall, Toronto.Read More
- Bradburn Opera House (1876–1906 in its original manifestation), 334 George St. N., between Charlotte and Simcoe streets; cite of the first motion picture showing in Peterborough, January 1897; later known as Victoria Hall; part of a block of buildings demolished in 1974 (with the exception of Market Hall, and its clock tower), replaced by the new structures of Peterborough Square.
- Grand Opera House (1905–c.1933); 284 George St. N.; building demolished 1941; site later of the Paramount movie theatre and in 2010s of The Venue.
The lore of Peterborough’s theatre history insists that the famous “Marx Brothers” performed on the stage of the city’s Grand Opera House. The legend goes way back – as exemplified by a July 1950 Examiner headline: “Opera, Marx Bros., Circuses, Noted Actors, Came to Town.”Read More
There was a time – and not so very, very long ago – when Peterborough had ice cream parlours, but no ice cream cones. Then, one day in mid-June 1908, a “stranger” came to town. Turning up at the corner of Lock and Lansdowne (in the vicinity of today’s massive Memorial Centre), he pitched a tent and set up an open refreshment booth. With the help of “a little gasoline light” that provided a modicum of illumination he was able to remain open for business until about ten o’clock in the evening.Read More