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Registry Theatre

122, Frederick Street, Kitchener, City of, Ontario, N2H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/02/11

The facade of the building emphasizes the architectural symmetry of the Art Deco style, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
South Facade of the Registry Theatre
Featured are the double-leaf bronze and glass front doors, and the limestone architrave, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Front Entrance of the Registry Theatre
No Image

Other Name(s)

122 Frederick Street
Registry Theatre

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1938/01/01 to 1939/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/06/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Registry Theatre is located at 122 Frederick Street, north of the intersection of Frederick and Weber Streets, in downtown Kitchener. The single-storey brick building was designed in the Art Deco style by architect Ray M. Hall and was constructed between 1938 and 1939.

The property was designated, by the City of Kitchener, for its historic and architectural significance, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 91-115.

Heritage Value

Located north of the corner of Weber and Frederick Streets, the Registry Theatre is surrounded by many buildings of historic and architectural significance. To the southwest is the County Court House (circa 1960). The Waterloo Regional Police Department is located to the north (1950) and to the immediate west is the Italian Villa-style Governor's House (circa 1878) and the Georgian style Gaol (circa 1852). Its location within this historical neighbourhood contributes greatly to its contextual value.

The Registry Theatre building is significant for its association with Dunker Construction, a once well known and respected local building company in the City of Kitchener. The firm was in operation from 1887-1974. Some of their better known projects include: renovations and additions to Courtland Avenue School (1928); the tower addition to the Waterloo Post Office (1957); and alterations to the Waterloo County Gaol (1931).

The Registry Theatre is one of the few remaining Art Deco buildings in Kitchener. The structure exemplifies many characteristics of the Art Deco style. For example, the geometric, stylized and multi-coloured motifs of the terrazzo floor are evocative of primitive art and ornament. In addition, zigzag surface forms and ornamental patterns are located on the exterior of the building, specifically in the limestone architrave framing the front entrance. The use of materials such as marble on the walls and steps, and nickel plated heating grates and handrails in the entrance foyer are also important architectural aspects of the Registry Theatre.

Sources: City of Kitchener By-law No. 91-115; The History of the Waterloo County Registry Building, Leon R. Bensason, May 2005; Historic Buildings Report, November 1990.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Registry Theatre include its:
- roofline and limestone parapet
- window openings
- limestone spandrels, lintels, sills, and metal muntins
- main entrance including the limestone steps
- light standards, double leaf bronze and glass doors
- shaped and decorated lintel
- limestone architrave
- mosaic with the County of Waterloo, City of Kitchener, and City of Galt crests and seals
- interior lobby walls of grey and green marble
- high plaster ceilings accentuated with geometric designs
- two original hanging light fixtures
- terrazzo floor
- grey marble steps
- nickel plated heating grates and handrails




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Security and Law

Function - Category and Type


Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club


Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

Ray M. Hall


Dunker Construction

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kitchener 200 King Street West P.O. Box 1118 Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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