The Ontario Heritage Trust will open the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres for a free, guided tour on Thurs., Feb. 23, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as part of Ontario’s Heritage Week, which takes place Feb. 20-26, 2012. Visitors on the guided tour will be able to see the last stacked theatre in the world, including the opulent Elgin Theatre and the forest-like Winter Garden Theatre, as well as the original and new lobbies and the largest collection of scenery from the vaudevillian era.
These double-decker theatres, which are now a National Historic Site, were built in 1913 and were home to many vaudevillian performances until the Winter Garden Theatre closed down and the Elgin Theatre was converted to a cinema. Both theatres began extensive restoration by the Ontario Heritage Trust in 1981. The Elgin Theatre reopened with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Cats.
Guided tours of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres throughout the year are normally $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students so this is a rare opportunity to slip into the theatres without paying the tour fees.