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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 7:34 PM
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Westdale Theatre

Westdale Theatre

Building Magic: Revitalizing Hamilton's Westdale Theatre

Open House
Sunday at 2:00 pm–5:00 pm


Join the Board of Directors and volunteers of the Westdale Cinema Group as we launch our BUILDING MAGIC campaign to renovate, restore and re-animate the Westdale Theatre. We're opening the theatre for one final visit before we close the doors and start the renovations.

Free Admission ~ Tasty Treats ~ Live Music

~~ Outside from 2-4pm in the Parking Lot: ~~

Dress up in some vintage costumes from the Players' Guild and get your picture taken with a classic car including a DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future, a Blues Mobile, or the Hamilton Police Studebaker.

Live performances by Cootes Paradise and Wax Mannequin.

Foundry Ice-Cream

Free balloos and popcorn

Congure up your Broadway Cinema memories by particpating in our nanimo bar competition.

Three live performances by The Tale of a Town - Canada using stories gathered from local residents and business owners at 2:30, 3:00 and 3:30pm.

Historic Photo display + Future Plans

~~ Inside the theatre from 4-5pm: ~~

Guest MC: Matt Hayes
Display of theatre ephemera, architects plans and vintage photos
Board of Directors and Partners presentation
Free popcorn and soft drinks!

http://buildingmagic.ca/home/

https://www.facebook.com/WestdaleCinema/?ref=br_rs

https://www.instagram.com/westdalecinema/

https://twitter.com/WestdaleCinema
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2017, 3:25 AM
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Westdale Theatre - Building Magic

https://vimeo.com/127990278
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2017, 4:19 PM
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The Westdale Theatre aims to raise $1.5 million to return to its roots

One of Canada's oldest movie theatres is in full gear to receive a face lift thanks to the community

By Kirthana Sasitharan, CBC News Posted: Aug 31, 2017

The Westdale Cinema Group is aiming to restore Hamilton's beloved Westdale Theatre to its original 1935 glory and members of the community are coming together to help make the shift to the past possible.

The group is aiming to raise $1.5 million to restore the theatre by July of next year, working from the original architectural drawings for the theatre.

The historic sign, plaster work interior doors and other decorative details are all some of the historic and vintage features that will be restored or preserved in some form.

Graham Crawford, one of the founding board members for the Westdale Cinema Group says overall, the theatre has strong bones.

The rest of the article

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilt...harm-1.4265168
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2017, 9:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LikeHamilton View Post
The Westdale Theatre aims to raise $1.5 million to return to its roots

One of Canada's oldest movie theatres is in full gear to receive a face lift thanks to the community

By Kirthana Sasitharan, CBC News Posted: Aug 31, 2017

The Westdale Cinema Group is aiming to restore Hamilton's beloved Westdale Theatre to its original 1935 glory and members of the community are coming together to help make the shift to the past possible.

The group is aiming to raise $1.5 million to restore the theatre by July of next year, working from the original architectural drawings for the theatre.

The historic sign, plaster work interior doors and other decorative details are all some of the historic and vintage features that will be restored or preserved in some form.

Graham Crawford, one of the founding board members for the Westdale Cinema Group says overall, the theatre has strong bones.

The rest of the article

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilt...harm-1.4265168
wow, that's awesome! I've never seen a desire to restore a theatre to its ORIGINAL look in hamilton - that would def. look awesome!
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2017, 6:54 PM
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These kind of venues are from a bygone era, and I really like it when investors restore and refurbish buildings like these!
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 2:18 AM
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 3:08 AM
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Nice restored art deco features!

I will miss the marquis though.. I wonder what they are proposing to put in its place.. the aged outline looks really odd hehe..

Hopefully they will install the old marquis:



Hope they install a digital lit sign where the old manual lettering is, a la silvercity..

Also here is the donate page for the westdale project if any of you want in on the action

http://buildingmagic.ca/

Also martin short makes a comment about the theatre - martin short is originally from hamilton

You can see 3d images here - the gallery link is glitched on the site - a drop down appears but disappears when you try to hover over it - so here is the actual link:

http://buildingmagic.ca/gallery/
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Last edited by Chronamut; Dec 21, 2017 at 3:41 AM.
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 2:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronamut View Post
I wonder what they are proposing to put in its place.

Hopefully they will install the old marquis:



http://buildingmagic.ca/gallery/
From their web site:
  • Restored 1935 façade
  • Restored architectural detailing
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 6:16 PM
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Looks like they are trying to find people that can replicate it off the images they have - it'll be really cool to see it all properly restored

The brick around where the old stuff was overlaid on top looks really weird in contrast though.. perhaps they can fix the brick or clean it so it appears seamless. It's kinda like when you take lettering off of stucco and it's darker underneath and you can always tell where it had been.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2019, 5:12 PM
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https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9...s-in-new-year/

The reopening of two old Hamilton movie houses after extensive restorations is ushering in a new era of local art-house cinema.

The Westdale is showing "Casablanca" for its grand reopening Feb. 14 during an evening that promises "glitz and glamour."

On the other side of town, the owners of the Playhouse on Sherman Avenue North are planning a February or March opening, but are coy about what will be on the marquee.

"I don't know when we're going to let that cat out of the bag," John Tutt said. "It's going to be reflective of the neighbourhood we're in."

Both operators promise regular showings of independent and international films, which locals have only been able to see consistently in other cities for years.

"It's kind of a wonderful coincidence in 2019," says Graham Crawford, a member of the nonprofit group behind the 1930s-era Westdale restoration.

Fred Fuchs, chair of the Westdale Cinema Group's board, said Hamilton is "severely underscreened" as a city.

Independent movie theatres are, in fact, "booming" across North America, with multiplexes leaving a void by showing blockbusters catered to young audiences, said Fuchs, a former Hollywood producer now living in Dundas.

Tutt is confident the two operators will find their respective niches.

"We can't wait to introduce the theatre to the public. It will be the oldest surviving cinema in Hamilton."

The 177 Sherman Ave. N. cinema opened its doors in 1914 with silent films and vaudeville. The last movies to show there were of the adult variety in the 1980s.

Tutt and his wife, Wendy, bought the old brick building just north of Barton Street East from charity City Kidz for $630,000 in February.

Since then, they've spent another $450,000 restoring it and setting it up with a new projector and other equipment.

Roughly 280 bucket seats are expected to arrive Feb. 20 from a Michigan manufacturer and will be installed shortly thereafter.

For Tutt, most striking about the restoration is the proscenium arch at the front and plasterwork, including the ribbed ceiling.

The old Playhouse sign (it wasn't the first one) couldn't be saved. However, another vintage one from Brantford's Sanderson Centre is being refashioned to resemble the original.

The Playhouse will have a coffee shop for cinema clientele that will also serve customers when movies aren't playing.

The Tutts are veteran operators of independent movie houses, having run Princess Cinemas in Waterloo since 1985. Their son, Jacob, is a key player in the Playhouse project.

Tutt said the most popular films at the family's two Waterloo theatres right now are "The Favourite," a historical comedy about Queen Anne, and "Green Book," about an African-American pianist who tours the South in the 1960s.

"There are so many movies that don't even see the light of day in Hamilton."

The Tutts and The Westdale operators alike are interested in hosting screenings of the Art Gallery of Hamilton's film program.

"From Day 1, we've been having conservations about it," Fuchs said.

An important component of The Westdale's lineup will be Canadian content, he said.

Annette Paiement, a well-known figure in the Hamilton arts scene, has been hired as The Westdale's executive director.

The 1935 theatre's focus will be cinema but it will also feature music, plays, comedy, civic talks and community events.

Westdale Cinema Group bought the deteriorating theatre for $1.7 million from its longtime Toronto owners in June 2017.

It's thanks to donors, lenders and grants that the volunteers have been able to pull off the $4.6-million project, Crawford says.

The nonprofit wasn't able to land any provincial or federal dollars. "So we had to scramble, but Hamiltonians stepped up and closed the gap."

The cinema's 340 seats are to arrive in early February with the names of donors on them.

There's a new stage, lighting, high-end projector and sound system, which will be miles ahead of the less-than-stellar visuals and audio of before.

"This is state of the art. This is brand-new technology," Fuchs said.

The interior will feature deep-textured "jazz plaster, which in some spots, like the lobby, had been covered up during a 1969 renovation.

Mirrors, woodwork, and red, creme and black Vitrolite glass tiles will do justice to the original Art Deco look, Crawford said.

"We are replicating it based on original architectural drawings and on archival photo. It's going to look like it did in 1935."

So, why "Casablanca" on Valentine's Day?

"It was selected because it's a great, romantic film," Crawford said.
See my post about the Playhouse Theatre here (everything that needed to be said about the Westdale Theatre has been said above in the comments and in this article): http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...54#post8423754
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2019, 11:46 PM
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100 bucks for a digital screening of Casablanca? Not even a film print!? This is pretty much the ethos of why I can’t stand what’s happened to the Westdale. I have doubts they’ll be able to operate it like a proper movie theatre and it’ll be eroded into an events space.

I’m happy the people behind the princess are here; they’re serious about film, not just about fixing up the building.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2019, 12:37 AM
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I don't think $100 for a grand reopening of a near 100 year old theatre is that much considering it's an entire event with food, and pre-show and after show, and it's the type of event you would expect to be that cost.

I would expect them to have both a digital and film projector for this type of theatre, but it's their choice. K can't bring myself to hate this project after they've spent years working on it. Further, they can always add a film projector later, and the plan as per the article was always to use it as an event space, live theatre and community space.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2019, 1:44 AM
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I guess we'll have to wait and see. One theatre was bought by veteran operators who have quietly invested big $$$ into the building after renovations and new tech, while running a relatively low key but smart social media campaign to build interest. The other is a conglomerate of decently wealthy Hamilton socialites who despite having good intentions decided to make the new theatre operate as a non profit (uh oh) while at the same time needing to undergo a massive crowdfunding campaign in order to fund the renovations. Something about it just screams "this is not going to be a movie theatre for very long" simply because of how much it cost to buy the building. I can't see how it's going to be financially viable to operate it in the long term.

Maybe I'm sour, but movies and going to see them mean a lot to me, and watching them dick around with this movie theatre while slowly suggesting that it's going to become less and less about watching movies and more of a multi purpose event community venue makes me sad.

I just appreciate how quietly the owners of the Princess have been restoring an east end gem, without all of the fanfare.
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Old Posted Jan 3, 2019, 5:06 AM
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It's a fund raiser! It's for people who have money. They still don't have all of the $4.5 million they are spending on the building.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2019, 5:08 PM
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Found this promotional poster for westdale theatre - looks snazzy



As well as this old interior shot:

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Old Posted Jan 4, 2019, 5:46 PM
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Here is their digital reconstruction of the exterior for restoration - doesn't look like they are restoring the middle part in the entrance:



and their digital reconstruction of the interior for restoration:



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Old Posted Jan 4, 2019, 6:12 PM
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Are the seats removable? This could be a great standing space for small/medium artists (along the lines of the Danforth Music Hall) and shows could feed off of local bars such as Snooty Fox or Bean Bar.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2019, 7:19 PM
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Are the seats removable? This could be a great standing space for small/medium artists (along the lines of the Danforth Music Hall) and shows could feed off of local bars such as Snooty Fox or Bean Bar.
I don't think so - the goal is for the stage to be used for plays and community events (as in people proposing stuff and people sitting in the audience yaying or naying), as well as the area being used for a movie theatre.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2019, 8:11 PM
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I don't think so - the goal is for the stage to be used for plays and community events (as in people proposing stuff and people sitting in the audience yaying or naying), as well as the area being used for a movie theatre.
That is unfortunate. I bet they could make a killing with live music in Hamilton. Right now for some reason that United Church is being used for concerts (I am seeing one there in February). Kind of sad that in an "artist" city like Hamilton smaller concerts play in churches.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2019, 9:54 PM
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That is unfortunate. I bet they could make a killing with live music in Hamilton. Right now for some reason that United Church is being used for concerts (I am seeing one there in February). Kind of sad that in an "artist" city like Hamilton smaller concerts play in churches.
Could still be used as a small concert venue with the seats there.

Whatever happened to that concert venue (House of Blues?) that was planned for Hamilton years back? I remember seeing rough renders/sketches of it.
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