<< Go Back up to Atmospheric Theatres Main Page

Runnymede Theatre

Runnymede Theatre

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

First Opened: 2nd June 1927 (94 years ago)

Atmospheric Style: Spanish Courtyard

Architects: Chapman and Oxley

Status: Repurposed

Link: www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store-locator/store/989 Link opens in new window


Overview

Commonly known as the “Runny”, the Runnymede Theatre was built as an atmospheric vaudeville theatre, the first of this type in Toronto, opening in June 1927. The building was designed by Alfred Chapman, father of Chris Chapman, an accomplished Toronto filmmaker. Known for its music and stage shows, the 1400-seat theatre, branded “Canada's Theatre Beautiful”, quickly became popular and brought prestige to the west end of the city.

The theatre was converted into a movie theatre in the late 1930s. In the early 1970s, the building became a bingo hall, then reverted to being a movie theatre in 1980 albeit this time twinned with two screens. The movie theatre ultimately closed in February 1999.

Later in 1999, Chapters – Canada's largest bookstore – redeveloped the old theatre into a bookstore while keeping the cinema’s atmospheric interior intact.

Shoppers Drug Mart took over the space at the end of Chapters' 15-year lease in early 2014. The new drugstore opened in April 2015.

Further Reading

Online

Historic Photos & Documents
Interior in 1927, courtesy <i>Swansea Historical Society</i> (JPG)
Interior in 1927, courtesy Swansea Historical Society (JPG)
Files displayed in this section may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media.

Photos of the Runnymede Theatre

Photos
Runnymede Theatre: Interior as a bookstore in 2009, courtesy Flickr user <i>Marcanadian</i>
Interior as a bookstore in 2009, courtesy Flickr user Marcanadian
Runnymede Theatre: The Runnymede Theatre as a drugstore, courtesy <i>Philip Castleton</i>
The Runnymede Theatre as a drugstore, courtesy Philip Castleton


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 Link opens in new window with any concerns.

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 Link opens in new window.



@HistoricTheatrePhotos on Instagram

Historic Theatre Photography


Follow Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography: Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Instagram Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Facebook Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Twitter