City of Brampton taking offers on Heritage Theatre Block revitalization


Published January 21, 2022 at 12:03 pm

The city of Brampton is looking for partners to restore the Heritage Theatre to its former glory.

The Heritage Theatre Block located on the corner of Main Street North and Theatre Lane houses the historic Heritage Theatre and three adjoining mixed-use commercial and residential buildings.

The city said it is investigating partnerships for restoration and reuse options to return the Heritage Theatre to the prominent Downtown landmark status that it once was.

Proposals should include plans to retain the theatre’s historical elements and align with the Brampton’s Term of Council PrioritiesBrampton 2040 Vision and the Integrated Downtown Plan.

The city has set a deadline for Receipt of Expression of Interest Submissions at 2:00 p.m. on Feb. 21.

An online survey is open to the public for input on what the Brampton community would like to see in the Heritage Theatre Block.

The block makes up an approximate 0.3 acres of land located at the southeast corner Main St. North in Brampton’s historic Downtown and the Four Corners.

Originally known as the Capitol Theatre, the Heritage Theatre was built in 1922 and opened on February 28, 1923.

The theatre was used for the presentation of vaudeville acts and silent films, and the opening of a commercial theatre was a major event that marked Brampton’s growth as a residential community.

At the time, admission was 30 cents for adults and 15 cents for children.

In the 1920s, the two-storey building had seating for some 800 guests and was one of the largest theatres found outside major cities in North America.

The vaudeville and silent film era came to an end in Brampton when the Odeon Corporation purchased the theatre in 1946. The original orchestra pit was removed, and new technical upgrades were made for the projection of “talking films”.

The theatre was purchased by the City of Brampton in 1981 from the Odeon Corporation and in late 1988, the city and the Province of Ontario financed restoration of the theatre which was renamed The Heritage Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Some of the notable performers at the Heritage Theatre would include Henry Youngman, Alan Thicke, the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, and Rita MacNeil.

In 2005, with the construction of the Rose Theatre, the Heritage Theatre was retired as a performing arts venue and left unoccupied.

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