Burton Cummings Theatre
2002 Photo from the Bob Meza collection
364 Smith St|
|Record #1028 |
Opened: December 17, 1906|
Capacity: 1155 seats|
Architect(s): Howard C Stone
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: Odeon, Walker|
Information for this tour was contributed by W Sawatzky.
The Walker Theatre was dedicated to music and drama with a gala presentation of Puccini's Madam Butterfly. It was named after its owner, Corliss Powers Walker (1853-1942), an American-born theatrical agent. Walker became an impressario of lasting importance by presenting outstanding theatre, opera, vaudeville, orchestral concerts and silent films in Manitoba.
Designed by Montreal architect Howard C. Stone, the theatre was intended to be part of a hotel, office and retail complex. Only the 2,000-seat auditorium, lobby and box office were built. The focus of the auditorium is a great proscenium, a 12-metre-high arch which separates the stage from the seats. This plaster arch, ringed with garlands of ivory acanthus and gold oak leaves, holds a central painted panel with two allegorical figures representing the arts.
After serving for nearly 30 years as a centre for cultural activity and political debates, the Walker Theatre was used as a cinema from 1945 to 1990. It reopened in 1991 as a home for performing arts.
The theatre was recently renamed the Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts, after a local rock musician of the band The Guess Who, famous for their classic hit "American Woman".
Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.
May 2002 photos from the Bob Meza collection.
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1979 photos from the Ron Keillor collection.
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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 5/13/2016.