612 8 Avenue SW,
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Previously operated by: National Amusements
Architects: John A. Cawston
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Odeon Uptown Theatre
News About This Theater
- Dec 9, 2012 — Happy 50th, “Lawrence of Arabia”
The Odeon Uptown Theatre in downtown Calgary, in the Barron Building, was opened on March 30, 1951 by Jacob Barron, owner of the National Theatres chain of cinemas as its flagship theatre. The opening movie was “The Mudlark” starring Irene Dunne.
The theatre 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 Odeon Uptown Theatre has been compared to the Art Deco/Moderne buildings of Miami Beach. It was twinned on March 23, 1973.
In 1993, the theatre was remodeled and restored, and the former balcony, which had been converted into a second auditorium in 1973, 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 opened 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 and went over to live theatre use. This closed in 2013.
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