Avalon Theatre

Bank Street, between First and Second Avenue

Written by Bytown Museum on 03/Dec/2009

A photograph of the Avalon Theatre in the Glebe

The Avalon Theatre operated from 1928 until 1956 and was known in its later years as the Glebe Theatre. It was the first moving-picture theatre in Ottawa to play “talkies,” or films with sound.

From the early- to mid-20th century, the movie theatre – more properly known as the cinema – was a fixture of downtown neighbourhoods and main streets across North America. Prior to this mainstream popularity, cinema had existed for a decade as a subordinate part of other amusements like vaudeville shows.

The first talking film came out in 1927, and its prophetic first words were, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!” Those words were spoken by Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer.

Do you remember the first time you saw a movie in a cinema? Share your memory with us.

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Like the rest of Ottawa, the area that would become known as the Glebe was originally a hunting territory for Anishnabe (Algonquin) tribes, principally the Odawa, whose name is commemorated ... read more