Not any more

Danforth Music Hall tenant gets the hook

In Canada on August 19, 2010 at 22:23

The long history of the Danforth Music Hall, one of Toronto’s oldest theatres, took another twist this week when it was shut down by the property’s owners for not paying rent.

The venue’s owner, Electra Films Ltd., evicted the tenant, Ellipsis Leisure Retail Inc., on Monday, according to bailiff Earl Boeko. Ellipsis was more than $44,000 behind in rent, stated an eviction notice posted on the theatre door.

Built in 1919 as part of the National Theatre chain, the place was originally named Allen’s Danforth Theatre after owners Julie and John Allen and hosted everything from vaudeville shows to early silent films.

In the 1920s, it was renamed the Century Theatre and converted into a second-run cinema.

Its format changed throughout the years, operating at various times as an art house theatre and a Greek-language cinema.

The theatre adopted the name Music Hall in the 1980s when it returned to live performances. It was renovated most recently in 2005, when Ellipsis took it over.

“It’s gone through all sorts of transformations,” said Gerald Whyte, president of the Riverdale Historical Society. “It was the only [National Theatre] that was still operating as a theatre.”

Just last year, the society celebrated the Music Hall’s 90th birthday and placed a plaque on the building detailing its history, he said.

The venue’s most recent show was an Arcade Fire concert in June. Last fall, it played host to The Toxic Avenger, a musical staged by Dancap Productions.

Its use as a Dancap venue fuelled hopes that the theatre would be successful, Mr. Whyte said.

The phone at the theatre’s box office rang unanswered Thursday. Neither Ellipsis nor Music Hall CEO Glyn Laverick could be reached for comment.

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