194 Dundas Street, Loew's or Century Theatre

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Dundas St. 204, Allen
 


194 Dundas Street
 


Dundas, 194 Loew's-Century
 


 

Century Theatre (formerly Loew’s)

The Loew's (later Century) Theatre was built in 1920 by Marcus Loew. The architecture is the typical commercial style used for such buildings throughout North America in the 1920s. The Loew's/Century theatre was in operation from 1920 until about 1985. Loew's had cost half a million dollars to build and—when it opened on Tuesday, February 17th, 1920—it was heralded as an important milestone in the history of the city. Two thousand and six theatre-goers are said to have attended the opening night. The original décor of the auditorium consisted of a huge amber elect-roller that reflected mellow light from the gold-leaf dome over the playhouse. Many Londoners still remember the beautiful mural paintings on the ceiling and the colour scheme of the interior decoration—ivory, gold and rose. The Mayor at the time was E.S. Little, a merchant himself and famous for the business-like manner in which he led city affairs. Little's inaugurating speech made reference to the fact that the theatre was a result of vision and marked a new epoch in the city, marking the beginning of new enterprises. This was to prove prophetic because the years of the interwar period and the Second World War proved to be a particularly prosperous era for London.

Prior to the building of the Loew's, 194 Dundas was first listed in 1881-82 as Amos Bradford's confectionary. Amos Bradford was born in Cambridgeshire, England in 1840. He immigrated to Canada at the age of fourteen and opened his confectionery business in 1875. His business flourished and acquired an excellent reputation all over the province. In an era when businessmen were judged according to their church affiliation, Mr. Bradford, his wife Elizabeth and their nine children belonged to the Methodist Church. As such, Mr. Bradford was seen as a respectable liberal supporter and an active member of this church community.

Address

194 Dundas Street
London, Ontario
Canada N6A 1G7