This past Tuesday in Toronto, Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada commemorated the national historic significance of the famous event space; the Eglinton Theatre and the contributions of Kaplan & Sprachman, Architects. This ceremony was attended by members of the Kaplan, Sprachman, and Eglinton families, along with leaders from Dynamic Hospitality Group and members of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
By hosting this event, the Canadian government is expressing its commitment to keeping Canadians connected to the significant people, places and events that have shaped the landscape of Canada and have contributed to our rich and diverse history. Kaplan & Sprachman left their unique and distinct design fingerprint on theatres across Canada, evoking and architectural spectacles on Main streets and in neighborhoods all across the country.
Sam D’Uva, Managing Director of Dynamic Hospitality &Entertainment Group states about the momentous event “We are thrilled that the Eglinton Theatre is being recognized with this honour. We thank the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and Parks Canada for choosing to commemorate the property, one with such a storied history of cultural, corporate and social significance for the citizens of Toronto.”
The Eglinton Theatre has been once of Toronto’s foremost venues for 80 years The space came to be in 1932 when Famous Players agreed to help build the theatre, and Kaplan & Sprachman, a well-established architectural firm was hired to design it. In 1934, plans for the new movie theatre were unveiled and on April 15, 1936, the Eglinton Theatre opened its doors to the public for the first time. The theatre offered an unbelievable experience. People from all over Toronto showed up for the gala grand opening. The movie screened that evening was King Of Burlesque (starring Jack Oakie). People lined up for hours just to get a glimpse of Toronto’s newest and most vibrant movie theatre.
The theatre’s design and architecture were so well acclaimed, that in 1937, it won the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Bronze Medal for its advanced and beautiful art deco furnishings. In fact, the theatre was at one point considered the flagship of the Famous Players national cinema chain. Today, the Eglinton remains one of the city’s premier event spaces, hosting lavish events from weddings to galas to fundraising events.