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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Victoria Theatre / Strand Theatre No. 2 / National Theatre (300 Fort Street, Winnipeg)

Located in Winnipeg, along the west side of Fort Street, this site featured a feed stables operated by George Revill (1840-1902) since the early 1890s. He managed the premises until selling to the venture of Kayler & Son who briefly operated the livery (c1903-c1904) before it was acquired by Frederick G. Hogie around 1904. Hogie maintained the livery here until February 1912, by which time the property was purchased by Charles Vanderlip. Construction of a high-seating capacity theatre was undertaken shortly thereafter. It first opened as the Victoria Theatre on 6 July 1912. The venue went on to host photo plays and musical shows alike. The Victoria Theatre Company was founded in December of that year under the Manitoba Joint Stock Companies Act. As the moving picture theatre manager, Vanderlip held 50 shares in partnership with contractor John Frederick Lawerence (50 shares), manufacturer William Henry Irving (20 shares), merchant William A. Davis (10 shares), and manufacturer Herbert Frederick Service (120 shares).

This theatre was acquired in 1914 by the Allardt Brothers, owners of the Strand Theatre along Main Street, and set to re-open as the Strand Theatre No. 2 on 25 May (Victoria Day) 1914. For its re-opening, admittance to a matinee show was 10 cents, and an evening show 20 cents. Its duration under the Allardt brand was short-lived, with the National Picture Theatre company acquiring the rights around the years end. It re-opened as the National Theatre on 29 March 1915. The building was reportedly later leased to M. J. Williamson. By May, 1930, the premises had been acquired by the investment brokerage of C. S. Gunn & Company Limited who announced plans to demolish the former theatre, along with intention for a new $30,000 one-to-three storey block to replace the theatre building. Demolition was contracted to the W. A. Irish & Company, and executed around June. The new structure was completed by August, with initial tenants including the offices of Burritt & Murphy, the Greater Winnipeg Improvement Company, and club hall for the Elks.

Victoria Theatre

Victoria Theatre (October 1913) by L. B. Foote
Source: Archives of Manitoba, L. B. Foote fonds - #1622.

National Theatre

National Theatre (July 1918) by L. B. Foote
Source: Archives of Manitoba, L. B. Foote fonds - #1616.

Site Location (lat/long): N49.89424, W97.13964
denoted by symbol on the map above


Death registrations [George Revill], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“More incendiarism,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 April 1912, page 8.

“More moving picture shows,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 February 1912, page 1.

“Victoria Theatre,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 July 1912, page 8.

“Victoria Theatre opens,” Manitoba Free Press, 8 July 1912, page 8.

“How bowling alleys are constructed,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 September 1912, page 7.

“Victoria Theatre,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 November 1912, page 32.

Companies Office corporation documents (CCA 0059), 27V - Victoria Theatre Company, Archives of Manitoba.

“News of plays and players [Photo plays],” Manitoba Free Press, 1 March 1913, Music and Drama Section page 2.

“[Moving pictures with good specialties ...],” Manitoba Free Press, 18 March 1913, page 8.

“Strand Theatre No. 2,” Manitoba Free Press, 13 May 1914, page 3.

“At the theatres,” Manitoba Free Press, 15 May 1914, page 47.

“At the theatres [Strand Theatre No. 1 & Strand Theatre No. 2],” Manitoba Free Press, 16 May 1914, page 47.

“Allardt's Strand No 2,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 May 1914, Music & Drama Section page 3.

“New Strand Theatre,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 May 1914, Music & Drama section page 4.

“Music and drama [The Allardt vaudeville shows ...],” Manitoba Free Press, 25 May 1914, page 8.

“Allard's Strand Theatre,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 January 1915, Religious News, Music, & Drama section page 3.

“National theatre,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 April 1915, page 16.

“National Theatre,” Manitoba Free Press, 27 March 1915, page 11.

“National,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 March 1915, page 2.

“National Theatre showing big movie features,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 May 1915, page 23.

“Charley Chaplan [sic] at National Theatre,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 July 1915, Womens Section page 3.

“At the moving pictures [At the National],” Manitoba Free Press, 14 August 1915, page 8.

“National Theatre,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 March 1930, page 2.

“National Theatre,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 28 March 1930, page 2.

“New $30,000 block to replace National Theatre,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 May 1930, page 25.

“Elks’ new hall,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1930, page 21.

“Another ‘old timer’ identifies theatres operating years ago,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 16 February 1935, page 28.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 14 June 2018

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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