Lighthouse Theatre - Port Dover, Ontario
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Trail Blaisers
N 42° 47.162 W 080° 12.181
17T E 565185 N 4737362
Quick Description: Lighthouse Theatre has been a professional company for 40 years, with history dating back to the early 1900s.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 6/2/2019 6:56:50 PM
Waymark Code: WM10NK7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Theatre's webpage, (visit link) has an excellent history of the company and the building. Some excerpts:

In 1904, the Port Dover Village Council, headed by Reeve James Ross, began construction of the Town Hall, at the corner of Main and Market Streets. The landmark, three-storey building was designed with stores on the ground-level and a 300-seat town hall auditorium and council chambers above.

It is believed that the first show produced by local artists on the Town Hall stage was a musical which opened on Wednesday, February 1, 1905. Over the years that followed, audiences were treated to a wide variety of “acts” ranging from Soap Shows and cure-all hucksters to professional traveling troupes such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Marks Brothers Bell Ringers to locally produced musical and theatrical productions.

The Town Hall became part of the Canadian/American Vaudeville Circuit and many of these performers stayed on to work in town before moving off to the next show stop. The first professional stage play is believed to have been produced in the winter of 1908 by Lidney H. McQueen.

It is said that local homemaker, Ethel Steele, directed more plays on the Town Hall stage than anyone else. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, she donated proceeds from her midwinter shows to local charities and community causes. Ethel was so much a part of live theatre in Port Dover that it is believed her ghost lives in the building to this day. A photo of her hangs in the second floor lobby, watching over the events of today.

During the 50s, the Port Dover Lions Club staged their annual Variety Shows in the theatre, under the direction of Allan Wicker. It is believed that the final stage show before the old Town Hall went dark was Blithe Spirit, produced by Frank Martin of Brantford.

In 1958, the Town Hall stage curtain was removed and taken to the newly built auditorium in Port Dover Public School.

In 1979, a team of volunteers, including Carlos, Don Simpson, Harry Barrett, Bill Gunn and George McCloy, oversaw the custom construction of two new ceiling beams. These were hoisted to the second storey level by several burly men, brought in through the theatre windows and installed, meeting engineering approval.

In 1979, the City of Nanticoke came up with $160,000 for a reconstruction project and members of the community worked tirelessly, around the clock, completing the remainder of the renovations in time for the reopening on June 18, 1980.

In 1999, Lighthouse Theatre took ownership of the building and started fundraising for a significant renovation.

Since its inception, Lighthouse has had a profound influence on this area. Annually, more than 40,000 people now attend events at Lighthouse Theatre. In addition to enriching the cultural fabric of Norfolk and beyond, Lighthouse bolsters the local economy, drawing tourists from out of town who then dine, shop and stay over in the community.
Theater Name: Lighthouse Theatre

Country: Canada

Address:
247 Main Street
Port Dover, Ontario Canada
N0A 1N0


Web Site: [Web Link]

Venue: Community Theater

Type of Productions:
Summer Theatre Program and periodic shows throughout the rest of the year


Restored Building: yes

Date of Construction: 1904

Architect/Designer: Not listed

Stage Type: Not listed

Seating Capacity: Not Listed

Special Productions/Events/Festivals: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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stinger503 visited Lighthouse Theatre - Port Dover, Ontario 8/3/2021 stinger503 visited it