Doors Open Ontario

Playhouse Cinema, The Doors Open Hamilton

Playhouse Cinema, The

The Playhouse Cinema is Hamilton's oldest existing cinema. Built in 1914 for the Sherman Avenue Theatre Company as a 700-seat vaudeville-era and motion picture theatre, this distinctive beaux-arts building was designed by Stewart & Witton. An important community space in Hamilton's north end, it served as a voting station during the 1946 Steel Workers Union strike that changed labour laws across Canada, and, in the 1960s, it showed Italian films and Hollywood films dubbed into Italian. Attendance declined in the 1980s and the theatre closed in 1990. In 2018, after years of neglect, The Playhouse Cinema reopened as an independent art-house cinema. Original architectural features – including the lavish interiors – have been beautifully restored, and a new neon sign recreates the long-lost original. Coming soon: For Digital Doors Open, watch the video below to learn more about this unique site.

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Contact info

177 Sherman Avenue North
Hamilton, Ontario
Telephone: 905-545-8888


Year built: 1914
Architect: Steward & Witton
Architectural style: Beaux arts
Building type: Theatre

Dates/hours open

Friday January 1 – Friday December 31, 2021
Part of Digital Doors Open Hamilton

Playhouse Cinema, The 177 Sherman Avenue North