Roxy Theatre - Coleman, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 49° 38.028 W 114° 30.135
11U E 680353 N 5500912
Quick Description: Had it not been for Coleman's worst fire, which took out six buildings in 1948, we would not have had a Roxy Theatre.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 7/28/2020 11:02:21 AM
Waymark Code: WM12WWD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
Prior to the Roxy Theatre, a two-storey wooden building here housed The Palm, a shop that sold fresh fruit and ice cream, served light lunches, and was known for its oysters. The Palm operated from 1908 until 1948 when the building was destroyed during Coleman's worst fire, which claimed six buildings including the Palace Theatre next door to the east.

The Roxy Theatre was soon built on the Palm site. It was only two years later that the Roxy was again visited by fire, being somewhat charred in 1950. The theatre survived this ordeal and was repaired and reopened. For much of its active life the 338 seat theatre was an entertainment hub, screening first run movies, hosting concerts and staging various live performances.

Today no longer open, the theatre appears as though it could have been closed for several years now.
Roxy Theatre
The historical significance of the Roxy Theatre in Coleman is primarily representational. Shortly after World War II, Alberta entered the oil age, during which time many small towns such as Coleman prospered briefly, before improved transportation hastened their decline in favour of large urban centres. The Roxy Theatre in Colemen is typical of hundreds of small town theatres which flourished in the province during the 1950's, before urban consolidation and television brought their gradual demise. In the case of Coleman, the decline of the community was hastened by the increased use of natural gas and diesel for heating and transportation fuel, which resulted in reduced demands for coal.

The historical significance of the structure therefore is as representation of public entertainment in small town Alberta during the 1950's. No significant person or event is associated with the structure. An additional point of interest however is the use of a quonset hut for the body of the structure. These huts, which were so common during the war, have all but disappeared from the provincial landscape.

The Roxy Theatre was built in 1948 after fire destroyed the old opera house. The building was constructed in two sections. The front section is wood frame with brick, and has a wrap-around neon marquee. This section housed the ticket booth, and the popcorn machine, said to make the finest popcorn in the district! The second component is a corrugated steel Quonset, housing the 338 seats, screen, and ventilation system. The building was home not only to movies, but to performances by the local symphony orchestra, and special Christmas shows for kids. Located on Coleman's main street, the theatre was an integral part of the small town's streetscape.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

7738 - 17 Avenue
Coleman, AB
T0K 0M0

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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