Dinner and a movie at the Odeon Carlton

One of the few things missing in action when the Odeon Toronto (later Odeon Carlton) opened near Yonge and Carlton in September of 1948 was its much touted restaurant. Located on the mezzanine of the 2300 seat theatre, the Carlton Restaurant’s opening was delayed due to problems with existing theatre regulations. Bear in mind that in 1948, snack bars were not yet commonplace, so imagine the tizzy the Theatres Branch must have had when Odeon Canada proposed a spacious restaurant serving “light lunches, afternoon teas, evening dinners and late snack.”

The first of its kind in Canada, the restaurant still claimed to be unique when the above ad ran in The Toronto Star in January of 1962. The Carlton closed in September of 1973 and was demolished by 1977, along with it a fine dining spot which offered a “smorgasbord of the stars.”

Speaking of stars, it looks like Vaudeville stalwarts Olsen & Johnson got to sit down and enjoy a meal with penguins, midgets and bears in tow when they visited the Odeon Toronto in 1949.


Leave a Comment