AFTER JANUARY’S HIATUS, THURS. & SAT. ‘WINTER GARDEN & ELGIN THEATRE TOURS’ ARE BACK

They’re the only surviving double-decker theatres in the world <MODEL ABOVE>, and you’ll find them at 189 Yonge Street in downtown TORONTO. Guided tours of this National Historic Site are back on Thursday afternoons at 5pm, and Saturdays at 11am.

WINTERGARDEN2Heritage Toronto’s year ‘round tours include visits backstage, samples from the world’s largest collection of vaudeville scenery, the Winter Garden’s original Simplex Silent Film projector, an old time elevator ride, a restored dressing room, stories and artifacts.

WINTERGARDEN9WINTERGARDEN1WINTERGARDEN4WINTERGARDEN7WINTERGARDEN3WINTERGARDEN8Adults $12; students and seniors $10. Cash only. No reservations required.

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REMEMBERING THE BILTMORE – A YONGE STREET FIXTURE FROM 1948 TO 1982

BILTMORE1                 The BILTMORE, 319 Yonge Street, was one of three downtown cinemas known for showing double and triple bills for a modest admission price. The others were the Downtown and the Rio – all within a few metres of each other. The BILTMORE was constructed by the wealthy OKUN brothers, who’d made their fortune selling ladies hats under the Biltmore label.

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This flagship theatre had 916 seats, 300 in the balcony – interior photo http://www.localfilmcultures.ca – and sat on land now occupied by a large shopping centre and a multiplex of 26 movie screens.

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<EXTERIOR PHOTOS – City of Toronto Archives>