Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Places

Buildings

1769 Portage Avenue

Formerly:King's Theatre
Address:1769 Portage Avenue
Constructed:1953
Architects:Green Blankstein Russell
Contractors:Sanitrar Construction Co. Ltd.

More Information

The King’s Theatre is a fixture of Winnipeg St. James area. The appearance of the present King’s Theatre building at 1769 Portage Avenue dates to 1954, when a “New Look” renovation of the structure, at the north-east corner of Portage Avenue at Berry Street, was unveiled.

At this time was added a 52 foot by 42-foot one-storey extension along the west side of the main two-storey building, which contained a new entranceway, a lounge to add to comfort and convenience of patrons, a refreshment bar and offices. In the spaces formerly taken up by the old entrance way were installed new washrooms, to serve those using the existing 800 seating capacity theatre. Other changes from this 1950s renovation, which was executed by the firm of Green Blankstein Russell, was a marquee extended over the street along the length of the extension, which also shaded a 22-foot-long window opening onto the new lounge. The exterior of the original building was also remodeled, with former entranceway has been covered over, the bottom section clad in simulated marble and the top re-stuccoed. The contractor for the additions and renovation was Sanitrar Construction Co. Ltd. Interior decoration was courtesy of E. Oswald and Son, a St. James firm.

The original King’s Theatre building was constructed in the middle 1930s. An earlier theatre bearing the same name was located on Kensington Street and Portage Avenue, near the current site of the Route 90-Portage Avenue cloverleaf.

Design Characteristics

  • Modernist design
  • Overhanging marquee and signage