Monday, December 27, 2010

Good News of the Century?

Some possible good news for Dundas Street's heritage - the Century Theatre, an old downtown movie palace, might be renovated into a new home for Downtown London and four other community agencies. The building at 194 Dundas, which opened as Loew's Theatre in 1920, has been closed since 1987. Not surprisingly, it's in poor shape, its auditorium demolished. Since one of the potential occupants is none other than London Heritage Council, chances are good that many of the old building's heritage features will be preserved. Let's hope that a) the project goes ahead, and b) it doesn't become another example of the facadism practised at the Capitol Theatre and Bowles Building.

Update, June 2015: The upper floors of the former theatre are being converted into high-end offices by Magnus Associates with retail space on the ground floor for Mas Cafe. According to a Free Press article, this is a "showpiece restoration project," but, as I've mentioned before, there's a difference between restoration and renovation. Restoration would turn the building back into a theatre. This is clearly a renovation and it remains to be seen whether any heritage features are retained.