Loew's London Theatre
194, Dundas, London, City of, Ontario, N6A, Canada
Loew's London Theatre
194 Dundas Street West
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Located at 194 Dundas Street West, the former Loew's London Theatre is on the north side of Dundas Street, west of Clarence Street, in the City of London. The three-storey stone theatre building was constructed in the 1920s.
The property was designated by the City of London in 1991 for its heritage value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P.-3113-65).
Loew's London Theatre was once hailed as the finest movie house between Toronto and Detroit. Built in downtown London in 1920, Loew's Theatre represented an era of extravagance and opulence for the growing City of London, entertaining 1800 people at a time. The theatre primarily operated as a cinema though it did host in the vaudeville days such performers as W.C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen and, in 1937, the Lombardo brothers who performed a benefit concert for the flood victims of London West.
The Loew's London Theatre was designed by architect Thomas Lamb (1871-1942). Lamb was an American who had an international reputation as a theatre architect. He designed over 300 movie theatres in North America, fifteen of which are in Canada. Some of his best known Canadian theatres are the Pantages and Elgin and Wintergarden theatres in Toronto, and the Capitol Theatre in Ottawa.
The exterior of Loew's London Theatre is an excellent example of the Beaux-Arts style. Typical of this style is the stone facade that is decorated by a cornice and dentil pattern and features original 6 over 6 windows on the third-storey. The main entranceway, although altered, has kept its original Art Deco fixtures. The interior of the Loew's London Theatre was designed in the Neo-Classical Revival style, with both Adamesque and English Baroque elements. In the early 1990s, however, the cinema section of the Loew's Theatre was demolished leaving only the long entranceway. The classically patterned terrazzo floor and tiles in the entrance hall are set into a geometric carpet pattern. Decorative plasterwork is also used throughout. Pilasters with Corinthian capitols divide the hall into four sections. Other decorative features include panels along the wall containing an urn and acanthus leaf motif, twelve gilded window mirrors, marble baseboards, ceiling medallions with beading matching the smaller wall medallions, a chandelier featuring glass pendants and brass hardware and four Baroque mirrors (marquees), also featuring the urn and acanthus leaf motif.
Source: City of London, By-law L.S.P.-3113-65.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Loew's London Theatre exterior include its:
- three-storey construction
- stone exterior
- cornice with dentil pattern
- 6 over 6 windows on third-storey
- original Art Deco door fixtures
- terrazzo floor arranged in carpet pattern
- pilasters with Corinthian capitols acting as dividers
- decorative wall panels
- twelve gilded window mirrors
- seven medallion ceiling
- chandelier constructed of brass and glass
- four baroque mirrors
- marble baseboards
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1990/01/01 to 1990/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of London
300 Dufferin Avenue
P.O. Box 5035
Cross-Reference to Collection