Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts

364 Smith Street,
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2H2

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Odeon 2

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The 2,000-seat Walker Theatre opened in 1907 and was named for its owner, Corliss Powers Walker, who brought in live theater, vaudeville, concerts, and silent films. The theater switched to a movies-only format in 1945 and remained in operation until 1990.

In 1991, it reopened as a performing arts center and is an official Manitoba Provincial Heritage Site.

After years of struggling, Burton Cummings, the lead singer of the rock group Guess Who, has become the theater’s new benefactor. Cummings will begin donating a portion of the proceeds of his concerts at the Walker in order to pay down the theater’s $1.8 million debt and fund future renovations.

In exchange for his aid, the theater will be renamed the Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts after the singer who attended the former movie house as a child. The board hopes Cummings' name will help bring in additional grants and donations.

Contributed by Chad Irish, Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

KenS on February 19, 2007 at 8:24 pm

I too was at the Walker Theatre 100th, and was very surprised at the production, i find the only thing missing, that i would have done was a short show of images from records or back room shots of any of the dressing rooms, basements, and just some of the stuff that people wouldn’t normally see, my only problem that night and depending on where one was sitting was when during intermission, i went to the washroom and found that the wait for the lower floor would have out lasted me, so i thought, maybe the upstairs are less crowded, sure enough they were and i got in with out much wait, the only blip on this was that no one told me that one had to have his ticket to return to my seat on the lower floor, But that was the only problem that night, i felt bad for anyone that didn’t get a chance to wander about the place, And for having provide some back ground photos of the place, I’m sure that they could have done a bit of a photo show on the work that was done on it as well as some behind the backstage and dressing room shots as well as places most people don’t get to see. I for one would be happy to offer my services as a photographer to cover the place such as i have on my other three theatres, of course minus any costs such as film. Other than that it was a good time and im glad i went, had great seats third row from the stage on the left of the stage, a little cramp, would have hated to been a large person trying to sit there.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 5, 2007 at 1:54 pm

This is a ©1981 b/w photo showing the Walker Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 20, 2007 at 10:27 am

Here is a recent photo of the Burton Cummings Theater.

kencmcintyre on April 29, 2008 at 7:44 pm

There is an interior photo on this page:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

The Related Websites link above gives the architects name as Howard G. Stone. A Winnipeg heritage site shows the architects name as Howard Colton Stone.

PGlenat on June 5, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Howard Colton Stone is recorded as being an architect with offices in Montreal. He was working in that city during the period between 1900 and 1924 which fits as far as construction of the Walker theatre (1906/07) is concerned. Unfortunately the Montreal site only lists his accomplishments in that city and none elsewhere. The University of Manitoba School of Architecture shows Howard C Stone as the architect of record for the Walker theatre and I believe he should be listed as such at the top of this page.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 29, 2009 at 10:31 am

The architect was Howard C. Stone. This is the website for this theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

And there should be an aka name of Odeon Cinema.

TLSLOEWS on July 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Nice photos and vertical.

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