The Music Hall
The Music Hall is a theatre on Danforth Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Originally constructed as a movie theatre in 1919, the building was first known as the Allen's Danforth, after its owner the Allen Theatre Chain. Promoted as "Canada’s First Super-Suburban Photoplay Palace", the theatre opened in the midst of both a building boom along Danforth Avenue (due to the opening of the Prince Edward Viaduct) and a boom in the construction of movie theatres following the First World War. Allen's Danforth opened on August 18, 1919, and the first feature film shown was Goldwyn Pictures' Through the Wrong Door starring Madge Kennedy. Although the Danforth theatre was one of the jewels in the Allen chain, it followed the same general architectural style of all Allen theatres. Instead of the heavy ornamentation that characterized many cinemas of the period, the interiors were primarily intended to be spacious and comfortable, with muted and complementary colours, and restrained classical plaster detailing. Building exteriors were symmetrical, typically containing both Palladian and Georgian Revival elements, including repeating low-relief classical ornamentation. The front façade of the Danforth theatre still features most of its original architectural features, including extensive patterned brickwork ( Flemish bond and herringbone), opal glass windows and a marquee of chains. Stylized "AT" symbols, representing the Allen Theatre chain, also remain on the façade. In 1923, the Allen chain was facing financial pressures, and most of its theatres were acquired by the Famous Players chain. The name of Allen's Danforth was changed to the Century, and was managed by Famous Players subsidiary, the B&F chain. The theatre remained a first-run movie house until the late 1960s, and subsequently served as a Greek language cinema known as the Titania Theatre from 1970 to 1978. The theatre gained the Music Hall name when it started featuring live acts in the late 1970s. Later it began showing second-run films, ultimately becoming part of Toronto's Festival Chain of repertory cinemas in 1998. Over the years, a number of films have had scenes filmed in the theatre, including Chicago, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 54, Bulletproof Monk, Focus and Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. The theatre closed in 2004, and remained vacant for a year and a half. Age and neglect had taken their toll, and the building had almost deteriorated beyond repair. New owners acquired the theatre, retaining the Music Hall name, and renovated and restored it, including the installation of a new sound system and new seating. Now operating as a venue for live performances, the theatre was named the Performing Arts Centre of the year (under 1500 capacity) at the 2008 Canadian Music Industry Awards. The Music Hall was designated as a property of historic interest under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1985. The theatre is served by Broadview Station on the TTC's Bloor-Danforth line.