Marks Theatre

King Street E. and Celina Street,
Oshawa, ON L1H

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Famous Players

Previous Names: Martin's Theatre

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The Marks Theatre was located at King Street E. and Celina Streets. Previously, in 1875, it was a hotel named Finigan’s (later American) Hotel, and that many traveling performers who stayed at.

Ernie Marks was among them. He was a native of Perth, Ontario, and was party of a traveling troupe that performed separate plays for two-week periods before moving on to other towns.

In 1931, Ernie acquired the Martin’s Theatre and became mayor of Oshawa the same year. The Marks Theatre, as it was later known, presented musical revues, stage plays, and amateur talent nights for years after films began to be screened. The theatre originally seated 1,500 patrons, had a large balcony, and contained graded corridors that allowed free movement around the building, cutting the need for stairways. The Marks Theatre continued as an independent movie house, surviving a series of fires from nearby buildings, until the late-1980’s. It was demolished in 1992.

I have fond memories of seeing many movies at this place, including “Streets of Fire” in 1984. It had a lot of atmosphere and charm.

Contributed by J.D. Lafrance

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

sherrell on June 11, 2008 at 5:25 pm

I used to go to the Marks often. There’s a book out about the Marks brothers – good info in it!
If a photo of that block turns up can you let me know please, as my great grandfather owned the barbershop next door and I can’t find a photo of it anywhere – perhaps it will show up in a photo of the old Marks!
Sher Leetooze

DavidDymond on May 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm

The Marks Theatre was a unit of Premier Operating Corp., a partner affiliate of Famous Players Canadian Corporation!!

DavidZornig on February 13, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Circa 1985 photo added credit Christopher Heard.

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