Art & Culture

Playhouse Theatre to be brought back to life

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Comments (6)
  1. Great news for a great old building. However, the honour of oldest cinema still existing in Hamilton belongs to the Red Mill Theatre on James St. North. It was built in 1907 and started showing moving pictures in 1910. It’s still around today but not active.

    1. The Inlet says:

      Thanks for the info David – we’ve made the correction!

    2. Dee says:

      The Red Mill hasn’t contained any of the trappings of a cinema (seats, screen, projector) for generations.

      The Playhouse apparently screened films until 1985, a 72-year run. The Westdale managed 82 years of continuous operation (1935-2017) before it closed for the current renovations.

      It’s nice to have them all with us still in some shape or form.

  2. Trish MacNeil says:

    The Princess Cinemas are my first choice always when looking for a movie to go to. If they repeat the great experience for Hamilton, it will be a great addition for Hamiltonians. Congrats!

  3. Dee says:

    “In this ever-changing city, it has become the norm to see historical buildings reused as something other than their intended purpose”

    Surely this isn’t a bad thing, unless you think Jane Jacobs was trolling us with that “new ideas need old buildings” quip.

    One reason that The Playhouse survived this long was precisely because of adaptive reuse. If you contend that this is boring or banal (a breath of stale air), that’s a privileged position to be in, given that Hamilton’s go-to real estate solutions for many years (still the dominant mode, arguably) were either to let things rot while you watched your real estate holding grow in value or knock down what wasn’t immediately useful to you, or which required more creative imagination than you were prepared to invest in the city.

    1. Thomas Allen says:

      I think you’re delving far too much into two sentences on a fairly straight forward article. Of course adaptive-reuse is never a bad thing. Ever. But I can see you’ve read The Death and Life, so obviously I don’t need to tell you that.

      To put what we said a little more simply: We are excited to see a theatre remain a theatre and live on for future generations.

      We don’t contend that reuse of any kind is banal or boring. That was never said. We feel quite the opposite. We are excited about the investments being made throughout Hamilton when it comes to preservation of any sort.

      And I’ve been writing about the architecture in this city for years. It’s not something I take lightly.