A TIMELINE OF THE HISTORY OF THE THEATRE
The Monarch Theatre of Medicine Hat was built in 1911. The grand opening was December 21, 1911, as reported in the Medicine Hat News. Although there were other theatres built and opened prior to this one, most opened as vaudeville theatres and did not show films until later. The Monarch showed films on opening night and therefore can lay claim to being one of the first, if not the first, movie theatre in the country that started life as a film theatre from day one.
1910 Morton Fuller begins construction
1911 Grand opening in December under the proprietorship of W.B. Finlay and T.V. Ready.
There were 560 seats and there was a four piece orchestra.
(Click on any photo to enlarge.)
1945 (Approx.) Exterior of Monarch Theatre extensively modified
1950.s (mid) Approximate time when Donnacona fibreboard panels were installed on interior walls.
1982 Landmark Theatre leases the Monarch from Famous Players for one year.
1983 Landmark Theatre purchases the Monarch from Famous Players.
1980’s (mid) At the request of the Fire Department a fire-retardant spray was applied
to the Donnacona walls. This process altered the sound absorption characteristic of the walls.
1988 The Art Deco (square) sconces were removed and the walls covered
with burlap curtains.
1993 Handicap bathrooms installed
1993 New movie screen installed by King Cinema.
1999 Plywood sheets were glued to the sanded hardwood floors and new seats
were installed. With more legroom, seating was reduced to 410 from 644.
1999 The facade of the building was painted, the marque refurbished and painted
as well. The concession area was reconfigured with new arborite countertop.
2007 The last movie was shown under the ownership of Landmark Cinemas.
2008 February – Monarch is put up for sale.
2008 October 2 – Sale of Monarch to CCDA concluded.
STAFF OVER THE YEARS
Sylvio Talarico (for about 25 years)
(Please, if you have any further information contact me.) Earl Morris