The Historic Gayety Theatre Collingwood
HISTORIC CHARM MEETS MODERN FUNCTIONALLITY
This elegant Victorian jewel has been entertaining patrons since 1911.
A 350-seat Centre for the Performing Arts located on Collingwood’s main street in the heart of the Historic Heritage District.
The Theatre’s Art Deco appearance cleverly hides the modern amenities that make it a wonderful venue for the performing arts. The auditorium boasts a state of the art sound system supported by theatrical lighting, a sprung stage with ample wings on both sides, air-conditioning, comfortable, raked seating and continues the tradition of serving the best piping hot buttered popcorn in Town!
For many generations of Collingwood citizens, the historic Gayety Theatre has been a source of escape and entertainment within an intimate setting.
Some interesting facts
• 1911-1922 The Empire Theatre
• 1922-1927 The Rex Theatre
• 1927-Present The Gayety Theatre
• 1916 – The Empire theatre showed “The Count” Charlie Chaplin’s fifth film for Mutual Film Corporation. A DVD was released March 25th 2008.
• 1918-The Government declared Heatless Days -Conserve coal for the war Effort. Entertainment and theatres were ordered to close Feb 18th-March 1st.
• Fall of 1918- Spanish Influenza arrived with 1 in 6 being affected. (By 1920 50-100 million worldwide had died three to five percent of the world’s population making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history ). In mid October any non -essential buildings were closed down to prevent spread of the disease. Re-opening November 15th 1918 after thorough airing and fumigation.
• July 1922- some movies playing included: Broken Laws, North Nevada, The Ten Commandments.
• December 19th 1925- The matinee movie was about the Great Chicago Fire- Patron Mayor JR Arthur.
• May 1926- YPRES Film, a battle of WW1 was featured 1-30pm-11pm.
• December 1928- a lighted sign with 1500 bulbs was turned on by Mayor Arthur with Kiltie Band in Attendance and the theatre was officially known as Gayety.
• May 1929-Refitted for Talking Pictures, the 1st North of Toronto.
• The First talkie was “The Broadway Melody“. Followed by Singing Fool, starring Al Jolson. This was the 1st film with SOUND to win an Academy award for Best Picture.
• July 1937- “Keep Cool At The Gayety” air conditioning was installed.
• February 1938- News real showing the collapse of The International Bridge in Niagara Falls.
• 1994- Gayety Theatre incorporates “V” for Victory sign into their ads.
• 1958-The New Illuminated sign is erected, the one we see today.
• February 22nd 2003- After 90 years the Gayety Theatre CLOSED. The last movie was “Chicago”, how apt a movie with a Music Hall setting!
• May 23rd 2003- The Gayety Theatre reopened with the Second City Touring Company presentation of “Ice Cream Man Cometh”. With new and current owner Mr Sid Dickinson.
Gayety Rental Information
Our theatre rental services provide a turnkey solution for a wide variety of performance or entertainment needs. Any pursuit that requires seating in a comfortable, accessible environment is a perfect fit!