History

History

Formerly The Eglinton Theatre, this historic landmark has been restored to its original 1936 grandeur, recapturing the elegant design and sophistication of this majestic facility. Boasting one spectacular ballroom, the venue is exclusively yours for the evening.
Holding true to its art deco décor, The Eglinton Grand is adorned with rich woods including mahogany and ebony, elegant marble, beautiful wainscoting and period furniture. The balcony level creates an ideal private cocktail area. The venue can host events from 100 to 450 for a sit down dinner and cocktail receptions for up to 700 guests. In addition to the main ballroom, The Gallery Room can be used for ceremonies, break out areas or as an area to enhance your event. Capacity of this room is up to 225 guests seated theatre style.

 

The

Dream

In the early 1900’s, Agostino Arrigo Sr., a 15-year-old immigrant from Italy arrived in Toronto, Canada. Over time, he saved as much money as he could while working for his uncle in order to pursue his dream of developing the land in the Eglinton corridor. At the time, the Eglinton corridor was vacant, but the area presented an opportunity to grow a diverse business community.

The

Idea

In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, the depression hit but Arrigo was busy planning his biggest development project ever – a first-of-its-kind stand-alone movie theatre. A movie theatre that would set the standard for all movie theatres in the future.

The

PLAN

In 1932 Famous Players agreed to help build the theatre, and Kaplan & Sprachman, a well-established architectural firm, would be the company to design it. In 1934, plans for the new movie theatre were unveiled and construction was underway.

The

GRAND OPENING

On April 15, 1936, the Eglinton Theatre opened its doors to the public for the first time. The theatre offered an unbelievable experience. People from all over Toronto showed up for the gala grand opening. The movie screened that evening was King Of Burlesque (starring Jack Oakie). People lined up for hours just to get a glimpse of Toronto’s newest and most vibrant movie theatre.

The

ACCLAIM

The Eglinton Theatre was hailed as a success. Newspapers rushed to extol its virtues, describing it as the “Show Place Of Toronto”. The theatre’s design and architecture were so well acclaimed, that in 1937, it won the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Bronze Medal for its advanced and beautiful art deco furnishings. In fact, the theatre was at one point considered the flagship of the Famous Players national cinema chain.

 

The Greatness &

THE GRANDEUR

All of Hollywood’s biggest stars could be seen on the Eglinton Theatre’s screen. The theatre gave movie-lovers an experience unlike any other. The theatres’ stunning art-deco interior was adorned with bold lighting, massive chandeliers, hand-carved statues, vibrant colours, hand-made murals etched in glass, plush seating and richly woven fabrics. Even the washrooms were grand in design, right down to the faucets.

The

CHANGING TIMES

Through the decades, The Eglinton Theatre screened some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster movies including Sound Of Music, The Jolson Story, The Mission, Star Wars and Titanic. As years passed, the theatre business evolved. Multiplex and megaplex theatres replaced stand-alone movie houses – giving patrons multiple movie viewing options under one single roof. Even with the changing times, The Eglinton Theatre remained competitive and vibrant.

 

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The End Of

An Era

By the late 1990’s, The Eglinton Theatre began to lose the battle against its larger and more illuminated megaplex competitors. In December 2001, Famous Players announced that this longstanding community treasure would be closing its doors for good on April 1, 2002.

The Show

Must Go On

The theatre, which has been designated a historical landmark by the City of Toronto, would not stay closed. In 2003, Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group, one of Toronto’s foremost hospitality and entertainment companies, announced that it had acquired the lease for the Eglinton Theatre and that plans were underway to transform it back to its original 1930’s art-deco grandeur and convert it into a special events venue.

The Eglinton Grand

Is Born

 

Renamed The Eglinton Grand, Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group promised that the Eglinton Grand would be a throwback to the grand style of the original 1930’s Eglinton Theatre. The company retained national-award winning designers Munge/Leung Design Associates to create the 1930’s art-deco style, elements, design, colours and fabrics throughout the entire venue.
A leader in the hospitality and entertainment industry for over 30 years, Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group owns and operates many diverse properties such as:

Atlantis Pavilions, the Eglinton Grand, Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill and Sports Lounge, Wendel Clark’s–The Loft, Yuk Yuk’s Downtown, Mississauga and Vaughan, and coming soon, the Guild Inn.

According to Sam D’Uva, Managing Director, Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group, “Once again, life has been injected back into this magnificent and historical Toronto landmark – for everyone to marvel and enjoy.”

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