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Encyclopedia > Royal Alexandra Theatre
The Royal Alexandra theatre

The Royal Alexandra Theatre is a theatre in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Download high resolution version (1200x1600, 165 KB)Photo of the Royal Alex Theatre in Toronto. ... Download high resolution version (1200x1600, 165 KB)Photo of the Royal Alex Theatre in Toronto. ... Serge Sudeikins poster for the Bat Theatre (1922). ... Motto: Diversity Our Strength Map of Ontario Counties, Toronto being red Area: 641 sq. ...

Contents


History

A 1500-seat, beaux-arts-style, proscenium-stage theatre, with two balcony levels, built in 1905. Since 1963 it has been owned by Ed Mirvish Enterprises, a company established by Toronto department store owner Edwin Mirvish. Since 1986, the theatre has been managed and operated by Mirvish Productions, the theatre production company headed by Ed's son, David Mirvish. The theatre, commonly known as the "Royal Alex", "the Alex" or "the R.A.T." is named for Queen Alexandra, a Danish princess and the wife of King Edward VII, great-grandmother to Queen Elizabeth II. The theatre received letters patent from Edward VII entitling it to the royal designation. Its present owners believe that it is the only remaining legally "royal theatre" in North America. 1905 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1963 was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Edwin Honest Ed Mirvish (July 25, 1914 - ) is a businessman and philanthropist who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... David Mirvish wearing his Order of Ontario. ... Alexandra of Denmark (December 1, 1844 – November 20, 1925) was queen consort of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom 1901–1910. ... Edward VII King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor of India His Majesty King Edward VII (9 November 1841–6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King of the Commonwealth realms, and the Emperor of India. ... Letters Patent by Queen Victoria creating the office of Governor-General of Australia Letters patent are a type of legal document which is an open letter issued by a monarch or government granting a right, monopoly, title, or status to someone or some entity such as a corporation. ...


At the time of its opening, the Royal Alex was in an upscale neighborhood. The mansion of Ontario's lieutenant-governor was nearby, as were the Ontario legislative buildings, the upper-class St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and the Princess Theatre, Toronto's finest "first-class" showplace. The theatre was built on what had previously been the athletic field of the exclusive boys' school Upper Canada College near the corner of King and Simcoe streets. This intersection was then known as "the crossroads of Education, Legislation, Salvation and Damnation" - "Education" for Upper Canada College; "Legislation" for the parliament buildings; "Salvation" for St. Andrew's; and "Damnation" for a tavern, popular with actors from the Princess Theatre, that then stood on the northeast corner of the crossroads. A Lieutenant Governor is a government official who is the subordinate or deputy of a Governor or Governor-General. ... Drawing of former UCC campus at King and Simcoe Streets in downtown Toronto Upper Canada College (UCC) is an all-male elementary and secondary school in Toronto, Ontario, the oldest independent school in the province, and the third oldest school in Canada. ...


The construction of the Royal Alex was financed by a group of business leaders who sought to "put Toronto on the map" as a place of culture and refinement. The principal of this group was Cawthra Mulock, a 21-year-old foundry owner, scion of two of Ontario's most prominent families (the Cawthras and the Mulocks) who lived a short walk east of site in a large home called "Cawthra House", locally famed for its doorknobs of solid gold.


The architect chosen by Mulock and his group was the young John McIntosh Lyle, born in Belfast, reared in Hamilton, Ontario, and educated at Yale University and Paris' l'Ecole des Beaux Arts. Lyle was an associate with the New York architectural firm Carrere and Hastings, the official architects of the theatre. Mulock gave Lyle a budget of $750,000 and the simple instruction "Build me the finest theatre on the continent." He also, however, insisted that the theatre be built on a steel frame, as a demonstration of the products of his foundry.


Lyle greatly overspent his budget, but delivered a structure described in later years as "an Edwardian jewel-box." The interior featured an Italian marble lobby; Venetian mosaic floors; elaborately carved walnut and cherrywood stairs and railings; silk wallpapers; ornate, gilded plasterwork; and an enormous sounding-board mural ("Venus and Attendants Discover the Sleeping Adonis") by the popular Canadian painter Frederick S. Challener. Lyle also incorporated a number of "firsts" into his design: the Alex was North America's first air-conditioned theatre, one of its first "fireproof" theatres, and the first on the continent (thanks to the steel framing) to employ cantilevered balconies, with no internal pillars to interfere with lines of sight.


The theatre opened in August, 1907. It's first presentation was a pantomime "spectacle" titled "Top O'Th' World", starring Anna Laughlin.


Over the years, the area fell into decline becoming dominated by railway marshalling yards. When Ed Mirvish purchased the theatre its site was slated to be turned into a parking lot. Since then, it has become of the key venues for Mirvish Productions's live theatre productions.


Notable people who have performed at the Royal Alex

The Royal Alex
The Royal Alex

Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 877 KB)The Royal Alex, by Nick Moreau File links The following pages link to this file: Royal Alexandra Theatre Image:Nm royal alex. ... Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 877 KB)The Royal Alex, by Nick Moreau File links The following pages link to this file: Royal Alexandra Theatre Image:Nm royal alex. ... Fred Astaire Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987), born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska, was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor of Austrian and German descent. ... Edward Hugh Sothern (1859 - 1933) was an American actor and the son of actor E. A. Sothern. ... Julia Marlowe (Sarah Frances Frost) (August 17, 1866 – 1950) English-born American actress known for her interpretations of William Shakespeare and often starred with her husband Edward Hugh Sothern. ... Fanny Brice, early Ziegfeld Follies portrait photograph Fanny Brice (October 29, 1891 – May 29, 1951) was a United States comedian, singer, and entertainer. ... See Marx brothers (fencing) for the 16th century German brotherhood. ... MAE-West is a major Internet peering point located in San Jose, California. ... Eddie Cantor in the 1920s Eddie Cantor (born January 31, 1892; died October 10, 1964) was a comedian, singer, actor, songwriter, and one of the most popular entertainers in the United States of America in the early and middle 20th century. ... Maurice Chevalier (September 12, 1888 – January 1, 1972) was a French actor and popular entertainer. ... Marie Dressler (born November 9, 1868; died July 28, 1934) was a Canadian actress. ... Margot Fonteyn (18 May 1919-21 February 1991) was a leading British ballet dancer of her time. ... George Formby (May 26, 1904 - March 6, 1961) was a British singer and comedian who became a major star of both cinema and music hall. ... Al Jolson Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson in Seredzius, Lithuania on May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was an American singer and the son of Jewish immigrants. ... Sir Harry Lauder (4 August 1870 - 26 February 1950) was a famous Scottish entertainer. ... Beatrice Lillie (May 29, 1894-January 20, 1989) was the outstanding comedic actress of her time. ... Ruth Gordon (October 30, 1896 – August 28, 1985) was an American actress and screenwriter who was perhaps best known for her role as the oversolicitous neighbor in Roman Polanskis adaptation of Ira Levins novel Rosemarys Baby, for which she won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Supporting... Maurice Evans (1901 - 1989) was an English actor. ... Helen Hayes circa 1931 Helen Hayes (October 10, 1900 - March 17, 1993) was an American actress whose successful and award-winning career spanned almost 70 years. ... John Sidney Blythe (February 15, 1882 – May 29, 1942), better known as John Barrymore, became famous as a Shakespearean actor, lauded for his Hamlet. ... In the play Carrots, c. ... Dame Alicia Markova (1 December 1910 – 2 December 2004) was an English prima ballerina. ... Ingrid Bergman at 14 Ingrid Bergman   listen? (August 29, 1915 – August 29, 1982) was an Academy Award-winning Swedish actress. ... John Gielgud as photographed in 1936 by Carl Van Vechten Sir Arthur John Gielgud OM CH (April 14, 1904–May 21, 2000) was an English theatre and film actor, regarded by many as one of the greatest of his time. ... Deborah Kerr (born September 30, 1921) is a Scottish film actress. ... Edith Piaf Édith Piaf (December 19, 1915 - October 11, 1963) was one of Frances most beloved singers, with much success shortly before and during World War II. Her music reflected her tragic life, with her specialty being the poignant ballad presented with a heartbreaking voice. ... USPS Black Heritage stamp Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson (April 9, 1898–January 23, 1976) was an American actor, athlete, singer, writer, and political and civil rights activist. ... Orson Welles, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1937 George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) is generally considered one of Hollywoods greatest directors, as well as a fine actor, broadcaster and screenwriter. ... Dame Margaret Natalie Smith Cross, DBE, (born December 28, 1934 in Ilford, Essex), better known as Maggie Smith, is a British film, stage, and television actress. ... Ethel Waters, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1938 Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was an African American blues vocalist who frequently performed jazz, big band, gospel, and popular music, on Broadway and off. ... Alan Bates as butler in Gosford Park (2001) Sir Alan Arthur Bates (CBE) (February 17, 1934 - December 27, 2003) was a British actor. ... Sir Derek George Jacobi (born October 22, 1938) is a British actor, knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre. ... Joanne Woodward (born February 27, 1930) is an American actress. ...

See Also

The entrance to the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres Interior of Winter Garden Theatre History The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres are a pair of stacked theatres in Toronto, Canada. ... The Princess of Wales Theatre is a 2000-seat theatre located at 300 King Street West in the heart of Torontos Entertainment District. ... Inside Massey Hall in 1945. ... Roy Thomson Hall Roy Thomson Hall is a concert hall in Toronto, Canada. ... The Hummingbird Centre The Hummingbird Centre is a major performing arts venue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Bathurst Street Theatre The Bathurst Street Theatre is a theater in Toronto that is housed in a former church. ... The Canon Theatre is one of Torontos live entertainment venues. ...

External links

  • Mirvish Productions
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Art Gallery of Ontario | Canadian Broadcasting Centre | Casa Loma | CHUM-City Building | CN Tower | Dundas Square | Exhibition Place | Fort York | Hockey Hall of Fame | Kensington Market | Nathan Phillips Square | Old City Hall | Ontario Place | Osgoode Hall Law School | PATH Underground | Queen's Park | Royal Ontario Museum | St. James' Cathedral | St. Lawrence Hall | St. Lawrence Market | St. Michael's Cathedral | Toronto City Hall | Toronto Islands | Toronto Pearson International Airport | Toronto Zoo | Union Station

Sports: Air Canada Centre | Maple Leaf Gardens | Ricoh Coliseum | Rogers Centre | Varsity Arena }|135px|City of Toronto, Ontario Official Flag]]|Coat Image=[[Image:{{{Coat Image}}}|135px|City of Toronto, Ontario Coat of Arms]]}} {{Canadian City/Disable Field={{{Disable Motto Link}}}}} Motto: Diversity Our Strength {{Canadian City/Location Image is:{{{Location Image Type}}}|[[Image:{{{Location Image}}}|thumbnail|center|250px|City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada... For the legal term denoting a ruling or law of great import, see landmark case For the former Las Vegas hotel and casino, see The Landmark Hotel and Casino. ... (Toronto, Ontario Flag, from http://fotw. ... The main entrance to the AGO The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is an art museum on the eastern edge of Torontos downtown Chinatown district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. ... The Canadian Broadcasting Centre The Canadian Broadcasting Centre is the broadcast headquarters of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations television and radio services. ... Casa Loma Casa Loma, meaning House on the Hill is a Toronto tourist attraction. ... The CHUM-City Building The CHUM-City Building is the headquarters of CHUM Limited, a Canadian media corporation. ... CN Tower as seen from Lake Ontario At 553. ... Dundas Square L.E.D. pixelboard showing The Heart of the City on Dundas Square logo. ... Looking East from the CNE Ferris Wheel (National Trade Centre at left, Automotive Building at right). ... A blockhouse at Fort York in 2004 Fort York is an historic site of military fortifications and related buildings on the west side of downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... The Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; it is devoted to ice hockey rather than the field variety of the game. ... Kensington market in downtown Toronto Kensington Market is one of the most famous neighbourhoods in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Skating rink in Nathan Phillips Square. ... Old City Hall A watercolour of the proposed city hall made just prior to its construction. ... Ontario Place is a Government of Ontario owned entertainment attraction, located approximately 4 km west of downtown Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario and just south of Exhibiton Place. ... See also Osgoode Hall for the downtown Toronto building that originally housed the law school Osgoode Hall Law School is the third oldest law school in Canada, the oldest being the McGill University Faculty of Law (1848), and the second oldest being Dalhousie University Law school (1883). ... PATH is a 27 kilometre long network of pedestrian tunnels beneath the office towers of downtown Toronto, Canada. ... Queens Park is an historic green space in central Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... The mosaic ceiling of the rotunda entrance to the museum. ... St. ... St. ... St. ... St. ... Toronto City Hall The City Hall of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city. ... The islands with the Toronto skyline in the background The Toronto Islands provide a shallow natural harbour for the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Toronto Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ, ICAO: CYYZ), located in Mississauga, Ontario, immediately west of Toronto, is Canadas busiest airport and part of the National Airports System. ... The Toronto Zoo is a zoo located in the northeastern part of Toronto, Ontario. ... The main entrance of Union Station. ... The Air Canada Centre is an arena at 40 Bay Street, in downtown Toronto, Ontario. ... Maple Leaf Gardens before gametime Maple Leaf Gardens is an indoor arena in Toronto, Ontario, on the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street. ... Ricoh Coliseum is an arena at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, Ontario. ... The Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome), is a multi-purpose stadium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower near the shores of Lake Ontario. ... Varsity Arena is an arena in Toronto, Ontario. ...


Performing arts: Bathurst Street Theatre | Canon Theatre | Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres | Four Seasons Centre | Hummingbird Centre | Massey Hall | Princess of Wales Theatre | Royal Alexandra Theatre | Roy Thomson Hall Bathurst Street Theatre The Bathurst Street Theatre is a theater in Toronto that is housed in a former church. ... The Canon Theatre is one of Torontos live entertainment venues. ... The entrance to the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres Interior of Winter Garden Theatre History The Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres are a pair of stacked theatres in Toronto, Canada. ... The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is the future home for both the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. ... The Hummingbird Centre The Hummingbird Centre is a major performing arts venue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Inside Massey Hall in 1945. ... The Princess of Wales Theatre is a 2000-seat theatre located at 300 King Street West in the heart of Torontos Entertainment District. ... Roy Thomson Hall Roy Thomson Hall is a concert hall in Toronto, Canada. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Royal Alexandra Theatre (651 words)
Named after Queen Alexandra, it was built in 1907 at a cost of $750,000 by a Toronto syndicate headed by Cawthra Mulock and including the stockbroker R.A. Smith, the manufacturer Stephen Haas, and the entrepreneur M.L. Solman.
The 'Royal Alex,' as it is known affectionately, was designed by John Lyle who, using New York's New Amsterdam Theater as a model, incorporated novel features such as air conditioning which required tons of ice and.9 m-thick concrete floors which made it Canada's first fireproof theatre.
The theatre opened 26 Aug 1907 with the musical revue Top of the World by Mark Swann and soon was established as one of the leading playhouses in North America.
mirvish.com | our theatres (360 words)
A masterpiece of beaux-arts architecture, the historic Royal Alexandra is Toronto's senior theatre and, at 99, the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in North America.
Edwin "Honest Ed" Mirvish purchased the Royal Alexandra from the Mulock estate in 1963 and closed the theatre for a year - the longest it had ever been dark - for extensive modernisation, repair and renovation, restoring the old house to the splendour of its early days.
PLEASE NOTE: as an historic landmark, the Royal Alexandra is required to maintain the style and appearance of a 19th century theatre.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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