Mall Theatre

116 Sparks Street,
Ottawa, ON

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This theatre remained independently owned and operated into the 1950’s when it became affiliated with the Odeon chain. It was opened as the Centre Theatre in 1915 by one of Ottawa’s prominent movie families, the Stapletons, who were among the original franchise holders of First National, the distributing arm of Warner Brothers.

The Centre Theatre had long twin ramps leading patrons to orchestra and balcony seats, and a stunning Beaux-Arts auditorium. Located on Sparks Street, it was in the heart of Ottawa’s first theatre district. In the late 1960’s, Odeon took over the operation from the family-run business and renamed it the Mall Theatre, to reflect the conversion of Sparks Street into an open-air pedestrian mall. The Mall Theatre showed cult movies and some soft-core porno before shutting its doors in 1973.

The backstage was demolished with the intention of building a large office complex on its site, but the proposal fell through, and the front of the original building remains, now used by small streetfront shops.

Contributed by Alain Miguelez

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Hugger1
Hugger1 on March 28, 2006 at 6:36 am

The Mall Theatre / Centre Theatre facade is being saved and being used on a new 14 storey building going up on that site.

Hugger1
Hugger1 on September 24, 2007 at 11:44 am

If they ever build it, that is.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

THE MALL Theatre would run a wide selection of films such as June 1 1970 “I AM CURIOUS YELLOW” and “LOVE GODDESS” Back August 18 1969 they would be playing “THE BLUE MAX” and “VALLEY OF THE DOLLS”.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on January 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Nice photo of the Centre Theatre.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 6, 2013 at 7:57 am

Reopened July 11, 1968 as Mall and closed October 2nd, 1973 The Mall was owned by Odeon and shown exploitation and adult movies. It closed when it could not compete with the adult cinemas across the river in Hull’s “porno alley” cinemas as Venus, Cartier, L'Amour and the Pussycat.

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