Elgin Street as an Entertainment Destination

Quick facts

Story kiosk location

  • Corner of Elgin and Lisgar

Important dates

  • The Elgin Theatre opened in 1937, and closed its doors in 1997.

Audiofile

  • No

What happened here?

  • Nat Taylor, a Toronto based movie theatre operator, opened Canada’s first dual screen movie theatres. The first was in Toronto and the second was Elgin Theatre!

The building you are standing beside was once the home of "The Elgin Theatre," Ottawa’s premiere movie theatre for several decades in the mid-20th century.

Photo of the Elgin Theatre screening “The Swordsman”, 1947.

Nat Taylor opened The Elgin Theatre with seating for 750 patrons on November 15, 1937, with “Stand-In” starring Leslie Howard. On Christmas Day, 1947 Taylor opened a second screen (eventually dubbed The Little Elgin) showing “The Swordsman” starring Larry Parks on both.

 

The Elgin thus became Canadas’s second, and one of North America’s first, dual-screen cinemas. It is perhaps then no surprise that in the 1970s Taylor co-founded Cineplex Odeon cinemas which owns multi-screen theatres across Canada.

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