Princess Theatre

108-110 James Street N,
Hamilton, ON L8R 2K3

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Wonderland Theatre, Colonial Theatre, New Princess Theatre

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Princess Theatre

Opened in 1908 as the Wonderland Theatre, it was later renamed the Colonial Theatre before receiving its final name, the New Princess Theatre, later Princess Theatre. It stood near the Tivoli Theatre in Hamilton, ON. The Princess Theatre was a very small theatre with only 350 seats and a very small stage.

The Princess Theatre closed in the late-1920’s and was later converted into the lobby area of the Tivoli Theatre.

Contributed by Chad Irish

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

hamiltonmark on November 10, 2004 at 10:34 pm

The Princess theatre was not located next to the Tivoli but is was used as the lobby for the Tivoli located at 108 James Steet North in Hamilton. The theatre that was next to the Tivoli was the Grand Opera House.( see Granada theatre posted by Chad I.

mrchangeover on December 10, 2004 at 1:07 pm

The Princess was also the Wonderland in 1908, the Colonial from 1910-1912 and the Princess from 1913-1923.This information comes from a history of the Tivoli contained in a 2004 City By-law to demolish the old carriage factory portion of the Tivoli Theatre site.

Lovesickphoto on February 28, 2007 at 10:00 am

So, from what I’m reading here, when the front of the Tivoli collapsed, was that technically the Princess Theater that was falling over?

hamiltonmark on February 28, 2007 at 8:16 pm

Mike. From what I know, the Carrige/Lobby was the front portion of the building, the former Princess theater was behind which was incorperated into part of the lobby and the auditorium was next which is what is still standing. If you go to the Tivoli, you can get more history on the Tivoli including the Princess and Wonderland theatre. Mark.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm

The 1922 Hamilton City Directory listed the Princess Theatre at 108-10 James Street North.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

The Princess Theatre should be marked as demolished. The Tivoli’s auditorium is still standing, but the Princess was in the building that housed the Tivoli’s entrance.

DavidZornig on October 17, 2018 at 10:58 pm

1909 photo & description added courtesy of Brian Morton and Vintage Hamilton Facebook page.

“Earliest shot (from 1909) I have ever seen of the Colonial (aka The Wonderland) cinema that eventually became the Tivoli. (The line up at the Grand Opera House was for a stage production of BEN HUR). The Princess Theatre opened in the same space in 1911 when a small auditorium was added to the back, and the Tivoli was added on the back of that building in in 1924. What is left of the Princess Theatre will be demolished as part of the current plans for the Tivoli condo project.”

DavidZornig on October 17, 2018 at 11:03 pm

2014 related article.

Brian Morton
Brian Morton on October 22, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Okay, I have spent some time going through the Vernon’s Hamilton city directory, and I have solved one mystery.

The image of the “New Princess Theatre” is the former Unique Theatre at 8 Market Square.

It goes from the Unique Theatre 1911 to 1923 to the Little Theatre in 1925, and finally becomes the New Princess between 1927 to 1930.

By 1932 it is gone, likely converted to retail?? By the 1940s the address is the Majestic Restaurant.

And to reply to Joe Vogel from a few years back, the 1911 auditorium, stage and fly gallery, still stands in 2021.

In 1924 the Princess Theatre’s auditorium, became the “Tivoli lounge” which is where the concession area was built from the late 1940s onwards.

It was the 1873 Prongelay block, which became a store front nickelodeon, the Colonial Theatre, that was demolished in June of 2004.

I will share the fire insurance map from 1911 that shows the two parts of the building.

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