Friday, June 19, 2015

Theatricality

Two places from last year that I paid quick return visits to this year for Doors Open are both close to home. The first is in Old Ottawa South. The Mayfair Theatre dates back to 1932, and operates as a repertory theatre showing second run, classic films, art house, and cult films. For some strange reason they persist in monthly showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and a more recent wretched film called The Room, starring, written, and directed by a guy named Tommy Wiseau, who looks a) like he was hit by an ugly stick thirty thousand times, b) he's stoned, or c) both.

This weekend Jaws is on the bill. Cue John Williams and that music. 


The building is done in a Spanish Revival style, with false balconies and an inviting interior. Aside from movies, wedding services have been done here.



Up the street in the Glebe, I also visited the Avalon Studio, which I showed you as well last year. The old fly gallery of the Avalon Theatre was left alone for decades after the cinema shut down, the bulk of the building converted into retail space. The Avalon Studio opened up this space, now used as an intimate performance space with adjoining workshop rooms for actors. This is the second year the company has shown the space as part of Doors Open.


I like the old brickwork of the preserved gallery, and it's a terrific space, something very different for Doors Open.


Outside, the bare bones of the old Avalon Theatre can still be seen when you know it was there; the hardware store takes up the bulk of the old building, but other retail and cafes also thrive here. The portion housing the Avalon Studio can easily be seen rising at the right.



31 comments:

  1. I remember these spots from last year. It's interesting to see the other businesses that the Avalon shares space with.

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  2. The buildning doesn't look so very welcoming. But encompasses much more interesting.
    Hugs

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  3. At least a bit of the theater still exist and the other businesses seem to fit quite well!

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  4. I like the old brickwork too.

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  5. I like that Spanish Revival style interior. I can see wedding services are done there.
    And I like the brickwork, too!

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  6. i love the old theaters that still get used!

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  7. It's nice to know that these places (which would likely have been torn down long ago here) are still around and providing services for the community!

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  8. People must still go to see the old and the odd---the place is still open.
    MB

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  9. The Mayfair... Perfect name for an old theatre but sounds like they need to up their game as far as choice of movies William :)

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  10. Love old theaters! I like preserving them. Have a great weekend, William.

    Janis
    GDP

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  11. It must be fun to get these peeks inside. I wish they would do this here.

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  12. @Kay: I thought it was a good idea to get an exterior shot of the Avalon.

    @Orvokki: the interior of the Avalon particularly is a treat, but otherwise the building in general is utilitarian.

    @VP: it's an eclectic mix of businesses in that building. The cafe you see in the shot is a nice one.

    @Marleen: the brickwork on both buildings is rather similar. They date back to the same era, so that's not surprising.

    @Tamago: it's an unusual venue for a wedding, but if you love movies, it makes sense.

    @Tex: and this one's got a lot of character.

    @Lowell: The Mayfair in particular has a lot of history in the community.

    @MB: I've seen Casablanca in this theatre, which is a great treat to see on the big screen. Odds are I'll take in Jaws on the weekend.

    @Grace: I suspect the fans of Rocky Horror and The Room would be up in arms if the theatre stopped those monthly showings! The films marked on the marquee, Madding Crowd and Dark Star, I doubt they would have shown up in most cineplexes.

    @Janis: thank you!

    @Sharon: it's a great way to engage the community, and Doors Open has been going on here successfully for years now.

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  13. It's funny how you can spot old movie theatre buildings around town when you start looking at the back of buildings.

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  14. The balcony inside the theater is lovely.

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  15. I can see where the Mayfair would be a great place for weddings and other formal affairs! It's quite lovely!

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  16. ca doit etre un plaisir de voir un conceert la ;o)

    bon w end !

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  17. It's always fun to take a look backstage!

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  18. Sometimes the powers that be get it right and sometimes everybody just gets lost. These places need to be preserved as they aren't making new facilities like that anymore.

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  19. I think I'd love the Mayfair, despite the weekly RHS! Haven't seen Jaws in donkey's years. Long live the Mayfair!

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  20. Some of our local theaters are also showing Jaws to mark its anniversary.

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  21. Beautiful old movie house. We have lost so many.

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  22. @RedPat: yes, you wonder sometimes at some of these buildings.

    @Judy: I've always liked it.

    @Cheryl: it's a building with character.

    @Audrey: both are fascinating spaces. I think the Avalon could manage a small concert, maybe a trio of musicians.

    @Halcyon: it certainly is.

    @Red: instead they build megascreen monstrosities with no architectural merit.

    @Ciel: ah, just monthly, fortunately, not weekly! That would be a problem. I'll probably see Jaws this weekend, and of course feel a jolt when the shark pops up out of the water while Roy Scheider is tossing in some chum.

    @Norma: it's a great movie, after all.

    @Janey: a lot of them have been lost here. There used to be one- the facade is preserved, but the interior houses a couple of fast food joints.

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  23. I love this post, William, I so enjoy seeing store fronts....past or present! And here in Quebec they would probably want to make the Home Hardware "Quincaillerie Maison". LOL! Thanks so much for sharing, my friend. :)

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  24. It's really great to see these buildings be preserved and perhaps more importantly put to good use...

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  25. "Doors Open" is an exciting concept that has not made it to this locale yet. Hope so, soon.

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  26. @Linda: there are store fronts I'm thinking of for a theme day later in the year, but even before then I'll photograph various places from time to time.

    @Geoff: the old Avalon's certainly made useful.

    @Mari: so do I. The Mayfair's got great atmosphere.

    @Birdman: if your city has a heritage department, have them check out the Doors Open Ontario website- it's become very popular throughout the province. And I do know there are similar programs in some American cities.

    @Randy: thank you!

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  27. Is that a false balcony in the 2nd pic? Amazing!

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  28. Thanks for sharing your local treasures!

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  29. I still haven't seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

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