Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 24, 2012

Cornwall Theatres… And All That Jazz

A new exhibit is on display at the museum outlining the dramatic and motion picture theatre history in Cornwall. Here’s a sneak peek:

The Cornwall Operatic Society’s 1950 edition of The Mikado.  Jack Walker plays the role of Pooh-Bah. Back row from left, Mrs. Murdie Stewart, Mrs. W.J. Thomas, Miss Louise Macarthur, Miss Grace Griffith, Mrs. G.H. Tomlinson, Mrs. H.O. Hodder. In front, seated Mrs. W.M. Castle, Miss Gladys Ford, Mrs. Bruce Secord and Mrs. B. Brindley. Courtaulds Canada provided financial support for the production, while Mrs. Gunther designed, sewed and fitted many of the costumes.

The Cornwall Operatic Society presented Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe in 1951. Four of the principal characters were Mrs. Cyril Watson, as Queen of Fairies; Dr. A.B. Peachey, as the shepherd; Mrs. A.B.Peachy, an Arcadian shepherdess, and Mrs. W.J. Thomas as Iolanthe, a fairy.

The chorus from the Cornwall Operatic Society’s March 1954 production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta Patience. The society was founded in 1948. Patience was its sixth production. The male chorus included Ernie Irwin, Bill McLean, Ron Sullivan, Robert Braut, Hubert Lalande, Russ Bailey, H.O. Hodder, Harold Gunther, John Dobbie, Gerry Forget, Steven Hill, Robert Jeaurond, Gabriel Ethier, Albert Morin, Raymond Besner and Robert Disotell.

The play The White Haired Boy was performed St. Patrick’s Day, 1948.

(Photo coming soon)
The Crystal Palace in the Yates Block, Pitt Street, just south of 2nd (now Schnitzels). In 1913 the owners of the theatre boasted “We don’t claim to have the best but we do claim that we have one of the best among the best. We get the best pictures to be obtained irrespective of cost. We try to get pictures that will please everybody, men, women and children of all classes and we usually succeed. It’s no accident that makes our pictures so steady, clear and free of eyestrain. It’s simply because we have the most modern machinery and have a curtain made by ourselves after weeks of experimenting, and which we know shows a better picture than the most expensive curtain made. Then again, we have one of the best pianist in the city who knows how to play the pictures, and our drummer is as good as the best. We have a theatre that could not be more sanitary and better ventilation, kept cool at all times with large electric fans. Our projection machine is absolutely fire proof, having an automatic fireshutter, thus making you perfectly safe from that standpoint.” In 1920 the theatre was renamed the Imperial under the management of Messrs. St. Armand and Charlebois.

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