This week, I bought a copy of "A Theatre Near You: 150 Years of Going to the Show in Ottawa-Gatineau" by City of Ottawa Planner and heritage geek Alain Miguelez. The book was calling at me from the window of Perfect Books on Elgin near Somerset, and had been recommended to me for research into the Centretown Heritage Project. Well illustrated, it makes for a great coffee-table book, and goes all the way from the oldest vaudeville theatres to the multiplexes opened in 1999.
Miguelez discusses nearly a hundred stages, movie palaces and theatres in the book. He devotes 13 pages to the Elgin Theatre, which he defended in a passionate (yet ultimately unsuccessful) campaign to save from closure in 1994, at a time when Famous Players and other theatre chains wanted to get rid of such distractions from their suburban multiplexes (two screens no longer being enough). Originally opened in 1937, the addition of a second screen in 1948 made it the first multiple-screen theatre in Canada, if not the world.
After closing, the Elgin was converted to cafés and restaurants. The Teriyaki place next to Harvey's was recently replaced by a Quizno's, and I guess some of the lights weren't working. In this photo, it is simply the "Elgi".
A Theatre Near You is published by Manotick-based Penumbra Press, and is available at a bookstore near you.
[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]