Royal Alexandra Theatre
The Royal Alex, The Edwardian Jewel-Box
Address: 260 King Street West Toronto, Ontario.
Coordinates 44 38’50 N 79 23’15 W
Primary Phone Number (416) 872-1212
Architect: John McIntosh Lyle
Finance: Cawthra Mulock
Owners: Mirvish Productions
Total Square Feet 22 000
The Royal Alexandra Theatre opened on August 26 1907, the architect was John Mclntosh Lyle, run Mirvish Productions located in Toronto’s Entertainment District on 260 King Street West & is North America's longest continuously running theater. Get your tickets on Mirvish Rush Line Tickets.
Before it became the Royal Alex the land was used as the play grounds for Upper Canada College It was the "The crossroads of Education, Legislation, Salvation and Damnation", with neighbors the Ontario legislature & St. Andrews Church
The building was financed by Cawthra Mulock. John Mclntosh Lyle was the architect, who was also part of the design team for Union Station, known for his Beaux-Arts architecture style. The stage amalgamates Greek and Elizabethan theater style. Ground broke in 1905 & on August 26 1907, It was opening night! Top of the World was the first performance! The Shubert Brothers ran the theater, their archrival Theater Prince of Wales was ran by The Entertainment Syndicate. The ES wanted to turn the Royal Alex into a stable. Then on May the 7th 1915 The Prince of Wales went into a blaze, on that same day Charles Frohm a member of the ES died on the Irish Sea aboard the RMS Lusitania which was struck by a U20 torpedo fired from a German Submarine.
After Cawthra Mulock passed from the Spanish Flu, The Theater was Sold in 1993 to Ed Mirvish owner of Honest EDs, the greatest store ever in Toronto. For a whopping $250,00.00 ED MIrish was quoted as saying “I knew nothing about theater—had never even been inside a theater—but knew a bargain when he saw one.”
The theater needed a facelift, & was closed for a year. Never Too Late was the opening performance in September 1963. This transformed the area of the city from industrial to the Entertainment District, he purchased the surrounding building and turned it into Old Ed's Warehouse. My family & I used to dine there on special occasions. For me It was like, you were in a movie, as soon as you walked into the restaurants, there was a lobster tank, as you pasted through the Old Ed’s, there were photographs of any celebrity you could imagine, Silvester Staolne ,even Big Bird eat seeds there one time. The food was incredible. You could get anything you wanted at OLD ED's, Steak and Eggs , Perogies to Chicken Chow Mein. It really showed off Toronto's diverse food culture. I remember one time I even ordered a burger and fries. My father told me to eat any more burgers and fries. I'm going to turn to burgers and fries.
In 1975 it was granted as an Ontario Heritage site & on the 80th anniversary on 1987 August 26 1987 it became a Canadian Heritage Site. In 2016 the Theatre was once again renovated. It's North America's longest continuously running theater, Mamma Mia was the longest show with over 2340 performances, opening on May 23 2000 with the last performance on May 22 2005, and apparently, there are two ghosts who are haunting the theater, one a woman who sits up in the balconies, the other is a former stage technician the Flyman who is just hanging around.
The Theater was named after Queen Alexandra of Denmark who was born on December 1st 1844, at age 16 she was chosen to be the wife of Albert The Prince of Wales, who was the son of Queen Victoria. They first meet on September 4 1861,hooked up by his sister Crown Princess Victoria, their engagement was held on the 9th of September 1862 & were married on March 10 1863. Alexandra gave birth to 6 children. Due to the battle with osteoporosis the last baby passed away at birth. Alexander set fashion trends, was very socially active, her favorite outings where dancing, horseback riding, ice skating & even hunting. On August 9th 1901 She & her Husband now known as King Edward VII, were crowned King & Queen. King Edward died on May 20 1910. Making her the Queen Mother. She passed away on November 25 1925.
I recently attended a performance at the Royal Alex for The Fisherman’s Friend. I got my tickets on Mirvish Rush Line Tickets, which offer discounted prices for Theater performances. So if you are visiting Toronto, and looking to take in a show. Go to Mirvish Rush Line Tickets.
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