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Palace Theatre

710, Dundas Street, City of London, Ontario, N5W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/05/06

Featured is the Spanish Revival style façade, including adjacent display fronts.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Palace Theatre, 2007
Of note is the portico above which Palace Theatre is written in decorative script.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Palace Theatre, 2007
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Other Name(s)

Palace Theatre
Park Theatre
The London Community Players Property
710 Dundas Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Palace Theatre is located at 710 Dundas Street, on the north side of Dundas Street, east of Elizabeth Street, in the City of London. The one-storey stone building was constructed in 1929.

The property was designated, by the City of London, in 1991, for its historic or architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 3120-161).

Heritage Value

The Palace Theatre was originally constructed, in 1929, by Harry Hyatt and his family, who were also the first owners of the Theatre. Hyatt was a well-known contractor who specialized in stone construction. He also built the London Life headquarters and a former City Hall. When the Theatre originally opened, it was hailed as “London's first high-class neighbourhood theatre”. The Theatre is thought to be the last stone building constructed by Hyatt.

The theatre underwent extensive renovations, in 1951, and it reopened as the Park Theatre. It remained a movie theatre until 1989. In 1990, it was acquired by the London Community Players, who undertook renovations to restore the theatre for live performances.

The Palace Theatre is an example of typical theatre construction, used in cinema and theatre design, in the 1920s and 1930s. This includes the use of materials that created a structurally sound building, as well as a great deal of ornamentation and decoration. The façade of the Palace Theatre is eclectic but the influence of Spanish Revival architecture is most evident. The central entry is covered by a projecting portico on which, “Palace Theatre” is written in a decorative, capitalized script that is most often associated with the Spanish Revival style. The one-storey façade is symmetrical and the central entry is flanked on both sides by two storefronts. The storefront windows are decorated and shielded by a canopy. Other notable features include the stone shields that appear in opposing pairs on either side of the entry and the stone finials, which sit atop the portico and at either end of the façade.

Sources: City of London By-law L.S.P. – 3120-161; Reasons for Designation, 1991.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Palace Theatre include its:
- continued use as a theatre
- siting within the old Dundas Street East commercial corridor
- close proximity to the Old East Heritage Conservation District
- central entry flanked by two storefronts
- portico above central entry on which “Palace Theatre” is written in decorative letters
- stone columns supporting the portico
- marquee on which “Palace” is written in decorative letters
- carved stone shields
- four stone finials, two atop the portico, and two on either end of the façade
- decorative elements and canopies over storefront windows




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1991/01/01 to 1991/01/01
1951/01/01 to 1951/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub

Architect / Designer

Harry Hyatt



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of London Planning and Development Department 300 Dufferin Avenue London, Ontario N6A 4L9

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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