Empress Theatre - Fort Macleod, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 43.531 W 113° 24.441
12U E 326500 N 5510894
Quick Description: Just over a century old now, The Empress Theatre was built in 1912 and underwent substantial renovations in 1937. Still a movie theatre today, it was purchased by the Fort Macleod Provincial Historic Area Society in 1982 and renovated one more time.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 8/18/2015 6:10:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMPEKT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member GeoKs
Views: 2

Long Description:
Empress Theatre

The Empress Theatre is a two-storey brick structure, located on one urban lot on Fort Macleod's historic main street.

The Empress Theatre is significant as one of the last remaining examples of small town theatre architecture in Alberta. As the last remaining theatre in Fort Macleod, the Empress is also representative of the social and cultural life of the town since the theatre's construction in 1912.

The Empress Theatre was built during a period of prosperity for Fort Macleod: in the years before World War One, rail lines were being constructed, the ranching industry developed, and land opened for settlement. The theatre was important to the social life of any prairie town, and was often designed with ornate architecture and luxurious furnishings. Although the exterior of the Empress was quite plain, to match the streetscape of Fort Macleod, it was heralded as a first class theatre and eventually provided seating for four hundred with such amenities as plush chairs and tiffany-style lamps.

Although it has become exclusively a movie theatre, historically it was a cultural centre in southern Alberta, hosting vaudeville acts (indicating the importance of Fort Macleod to the North American theatrical circuit), community plays, concerts, lectures, meetings, and political rallies. It enjoyed a particular heyday in the early 1940s (and the interior was richly refurnished at this point) when the wartime economy fuelled money into movie-going and before the advent of television.

- rectangular form, scale and massing;
- brick facade of locally manufactured bricks including two corner projecting brickwork piers on south (front) facade;
- flat roof with curved parapet with decorative brick trim;
- large arched entrance;
- fenestration pattern including an oculus window that lights the projection room;
- projecting marquee sign;
- placement along the historic streetscape;
- projecting cornice;
- symmetrical decorative stucco panels.

Original remaining elements and fittings of the interior of the Empress Theatre such as the:
- theatre proper with its balcony;
- seating and decorative details;
- original dressing rooms, with graffiti from visiting performers;
- neon tulip on theatre's ceiling;
- projection booth.
From HeRMIS Alberta

Photo goes Here

Type of Marker: Cultural

Sign Age: Historic Site or Building Marker

Parking: Park right in front.

Placement agency: Province of Alberta

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Bon Echo visited Empress Theatre - Fort Macleod, AB 6/25/2018 Bon Echo visited it