Collingwood Spotlights

Looking Back – Gayety Theatre

Looking Back – Gayety Theatre featured image

The crown jewel of Collingwood’s downtown heritage district, the Gayety Theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1911.

The first theatre north of Toronto to show talking movies, it was originally The Empire Theatre, then the Rex Theatre, before taking the name Gayety in 1927.

During the early years, admission was 25 cents. Only men were admitted to the afternoon matinées. Women and children had to wait for the evening shows.

The Gayety’s iconic sign came from a Toronto burlesque house that went out of business. The original sign had fifteen hundred lightbulbs and could be seen from the top of Blue Mountain.

Today the Gayety is home to Theatre Collingwood, and a showplace for the performing arts, from live theatre and music to comedy and films.

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