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August 02, 2013

Old Avalon movie theatre in the Glebe re-opens as a theatre and performance space

Did you know that there's an old movie theatre hidden above the Home Hardware building in the Glebe?

The Avalon Theatre (later the Glebe Theatre) was open from 1928 to 1956. It has the distinction of being the first movie theatre in Ottawa to show films with sound. (More about the theatre at Spacing Ottawa.)

Here's what it looked like then:

Photo via CapitalNeighbourhoods.ca

And here's what it looks like now:


The old theatre has been adapted for other business purposes over the years, but now a local theatre company has renovated the space and turned it into a new venue for live theatre.

Chris Ralph and John Muggleton, two veterans of the local theatre scene, have launched The Acting Company to operate out of the new building. They plan to use the space for performances and theatre education.

Inside the Avalon. (Photo supplied by The Acting Company)

Chris Ralph & John Muggleton.
(Photo supplied by The Acting Company)
“To look at the building from the outside, you’d never know there was this incredible space hiding under all that plaster,” says Ralph. He's is a partner at Plosive Productions, which runs the Gladstone Theatre in Little Italy.

“But when we went up the stairs we were stunned to find ourselves on the original stage. It has 30 foot high ceilings, hardwood floors, brick walls and even a balcony.”

“What we really want to create is a downtown arts hub,” says Muggleton. “We envision a kind of theatre club atmosphere. We have a comfy green room and we want to encourage people who love the performing arts to stop by and socialize. The coffee pot will always be on.”
You can read more about the project in this press release...

See also: Ottawa Theatre Guide
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