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Roxy Theatre (photo credit Steve Gibb)

Roxy Theatre

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

First Opened: 28th August 1930 (91 years ago)

Reopened as the Towne Cinema: 23rd January 1974

Closed: 20th July 1995

Reopened after Renovation: 30th September 2005

Atmospheric Style: Spanish Villa

Architect: Max Zev Blankstein

Former Name: Towne Cinema

Website: roxytheatre.magiclanterntheatres.ca Link opens in new window

Address: 320 20th St W, Saskatoon, SK S7M 0X2, Canada Link opens in new window


Overview

Theatre exterior in 1930
Theatre exterior in 1930

The theatre was designed in 1929 by Winnipeg architect Max Zev Blankstein for theatre magnate Nathan Rothstein of Rothstein Theatres. The name comes from the Roxy Theatre in New York, which opened in March of 1927. The theatre resembled the Roxy Theatre in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, also designed by Blankstein for Rothstein in 1928. It was built at a cost of $73,000 and officially opened 28th August 1930.

Despite being completed with an orchestra pit the stage area is minimal, with roughly 6ft (1.8m) of depth behind the title curtain and projection screen.

The Roxy, along with the other Rothstein Theatres, would become part of Odeon Theatres in January of 1944.

In 1973 new owners Rokeway Theatres Ltd closed the Roxy for renovation on 29th November 1973. The theatre reopened as the Towne Cinema two months later with the wildlife feature “Instinct for Survival”.

In 1980 a twin screen was added in space adjacent to the original theatre, and the complex rebranded as the Towne Cinema Center. The second screen opened 30th May 1980 as Towne Cinema Blue and the original theatre was called Towne Cinema Red.

The theatre closed on 20th July 1995, its last movie being Die Hard with a Vengeance Link opens in new window.

In the mid-2000’s, Tom Hutchinson of Edmonton – doing business as Magic Lantern Theatres Ltd – bought the theatre and undertook renovations exceeding $1 million. Hutchinson had been part of the crew that worked on the two month renovation completed in 1974.

The Roxy Theatre reopened in late September 2005 as a cinema and performing arts space, keeping much of its original design and charm intact. It is understood to be Western Canada’s last Spanish courtyard themed Atmospheric theatre.

Hutchinson had reportedly bought the property because he didn’t want to see the atmospheric theatre be torn down, but his intent was not to own it permanently. In February 2022 it was announced Link opens in new window that the theatre is for sale.

Information in part sourced from the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation Link opens in new window.

Further Reading

Online

Historic Photos & Documents
News of the theatre’s opening, as printed in the 27th August 1930 edition of <i>The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix</i> (4.9MB PDF)
News of the theatre’s opening, as printed in the 27th August 1930 edition of The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (4.9MB PDF)
Exterior circa 1930, courtesy <i>Saskatoon Public Library</i> (JPG)
Exterior circa 1930, courtesy Saskatoon Public Library (JPG)
Interior in 1930, courtesy <i>Saskatoon Public Library</i> (JPG)
Interior in 1930, courtesy Saskatoon Public Library (JPG)
Exterior circa 1966, courtesy <i>Saskatoon Public Library</i> (JPG)
Exterior circa 1966, courtesy Saskatoon Public Library (JPG)
News of new operators at the theatre, as printed in the 29th November 1973 edition of <i>The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix</i> (400KB PDF)
News of new operators at the theatre, as printed in the 29th November 1973 edition of The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (400KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s reopening, as printed in the 17th January 1974 edition of <i>The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix</i> (450KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s reopening, as printed in the 17th January 1974 edition of The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (450KB PDF)
News of the twin screen opening at the theatre, as printed in the 30th May 1985 edition of <i>The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix</i> (300KB PDF)
News of the twin screen opening at the theatre, as printed in the 30th May 1985 edition of The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (300KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s closing in 1995, as printed in the 21st July 1995 edition of <i>The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix</i> (250KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s closing in 1995, as printed in the 21st July 1995 edition of The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (250KB PDF)
Interior in late 2001, courtesy Flickr user <i>gordonmcleod</i> (JPG)
Interior in late 2001, courtesy Flickr user gordonmcleod (JPG)
News of the theatre’s 2005 reopening following renovation, as printed in the 30th September 2005 edition of <i>The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix</i> (350KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s 2005 reopening following renovation, as printed in the 30th September 2005 edition of The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (350KB PDF)
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Photos of the Roxy Theatre

Photo credits are noted where data was available at the time of inclusion. Photos displayed here may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media and contact us Contact Us with any concerns.

Photos
Roxy Theatre: Exterior, courtesy <i>Winnipeg Architecture Foundation</i>
Exterior, courtesy Winnipeg Architecture Foundation
Roxy Theatre: Interior, courtesy <i>Jonathan Ball</i>
Interior, courtesy Jonathan Ball
Roxy Theatre: Interior, courtesy <i>Steve Gibb</i>
Interior, courtesy Steve Gibb


Photographs copyright © 2002-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos unless otherwise noted.

Text copyright © 2017-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.

For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here Contact Us.





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