Uptown Theatre

612 8th Avenue SW,
Calgary, AB

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Uptown Theatre

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The Uptown Theatre in downtown Calgary, in the Barron Building, was opened in 1951 by Jacob Barron, owner of the National Theatres chain of cinemas as its flagship theater.

The theater was built in the late Art Moderne style and is one of the finest examples of the architectural style in Calgary. The lobby of the Uptown has been compared to the Art Deco/Moderne buildings of Miami Beach.

In 1993, the theater was remodeled and restored, and the former balcony, which had been converted into a second auditorium in the 1970’s, was made into a small stage area for live performances.

Additionally, the main auditorium was completely restored to its original appearance, including the restoration of plaster torches on each side of the large screen and brocade curtains (which still open before the main feature). As a gesture to the expectations of modern audiences, 100 seats were removed from the main auditorium to expand legroom for all patrons.

The Uptown Theatre specialized in art and foreign film, and presented new Canadian short features before each main presentation. It stopped screening movies in 2012.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

teecee
teecee on March 24, 2005 at 9:26 am

Nice recent B&W photo:
View link

ghamilton
ghamilton on April 12, 2005 at 4:12 pm

Highlight for me with this house was Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum.I loved that movie and still do.Must have been 1967?I remember going to a doctor in the bldg.next door.The interior was fairly severe.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2005 at 3:57 am

The architect of the Uptown was John A. Cawston, of the firm of Stevenson, Cawston & Stevenson.

Here is a brief essay about the Barron Building, courtesy of the Calgary Public Library.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2005 at 7:43 pm

Here is a decent picture of the Barron Building, taken during the time the theatre was closed.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Here is a recent marquee shot. Is the name of this theater “The” Uptown or just Uptown?

LuisV
LuisV on July 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

It’s a travesty that it lost its spectacular marquee for the spartan utilitarian one it sports in the into photo. I wonder if the interior is just as disappointing?

rivest266
rivest266 on February 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm

1951 grand opening ad uploaded in the photo section. It stopped showing movies in 2012.

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