Glebe Theatre

740 Bank Street,
Ottawa, ON K1S

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on February 3, 2016 at 10:28 am

This Spanish Mission atmospheric theatre seated 900 at opening on November 16, 1928 in what was called the fast-growing Glebe neighborhood. With Wurlitzer organ, cloud and star projection on the arched ceiling, and high dollar Simplex projection, this was going to be a modern talkie palace. The theatre was P.J. Nolan’s third theater in Ottawa with the Rex and Columbia. But this was his first to be built for talking films. Ironically, the theater’s sound equipment was delayed and the advertising angle was lost on the opening silent film, “Dress Parade.” Silents would run until March of 1929 when the equipment finally arrived.

P.J.’s son, P. Ambrose Nolan was the original manager and did a full-page tie-up with record stores upon the arrival of sound offering free tickets to anyone purchasing the soundtrack song from the first talking feature there, “Little Mother.” Why this film? Because the song’s title was, “Avalon Town” the name of the theatre. It would be known informally as the Glebe for Henry Neunin who took on the theater on a ten-year lease March of 1936. After closing for a retrofit and officially becoming the Glebe Theatre for Cineplex Odeon Circuit, the theatre had its final operator beginning on August 22, 1947.

Cineplex decided to let its ten-year lease lapse closing in 1956. Morton Motors took on the facility transforming into a Volkswagen launching March 8, 1957.

HChatfield
HChatfield on August 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

My wife is the granddaughter of P J Nolan, who designed and built the Avalon (the original name of this theatre). He owned 3 theatres and operated 4. He also became the mayor of Ottawa.

Today (Aug 25) we are headed down to the open house of “The Acting Company” who are now setting up shop in the old theatre space to see what remains of this theatre.

Little known factoid – my wife’s father was Leo (the lion) McCarthy. He taught the returning soldiers from the war in this theatre to help them get caught up on their schooling.

Earlier they used to run vaudeville in this theatre as well as “talkies”.

atmos
atmos on December 31, 2008 at 8:51 am

The last movie was on the night of 17 Oct 1956.The auditorium was gutted and became a car dealership until 1974.The space is now occupied by Home Hardware.

atmos
atmos on November 27, 2007 at 7:45 am

Theatre opened on 16 Nov 1928.

0stimpy0
0stimpy0 on August 5, 2007 at 7:18 pm

As part of the Odeon chain, was called the Glebe Theatre 1947-1956.

The building still exists. It’s a hardware store and restaurant with entrances on 2nd Avenue.