King Street E. and Celina Street,
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The Marks Theatre was located at King Street E. and Celina Streets. Previously, in 1875, it was a hotel named Finigan’s (later American) Hotel, and that many traveling performers who stayed at.
Ernie Marks was among them. He was a native of Perth, Ontario, and was party of a traveling troupe that performed separate plays for two-week periods before moving on to other towns.
In 1931, Ernie acquired the Martin’s Theatre and became mayor of Oshawa the same year. The Marks Theatre, as it was later known, presented musical revues, stage plays, and amateur talent nights for years after films began to be screened. The theatre originally seated 1,500 patrons, had a large balcony, and contained graded corridors that allowed free movement around the building, cutting the need for stairways. The Marks Theatre continued as an independent movie house, surviving a series of fires from nearby buildings, until the late-1980’s. It was demolished in 1992.
I have fond memories of seeing many movies at this place, including “Streets of Fire” in 1984. It had a lot of atmosphere and charm.
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