With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor last month, here’s her name on the marquee of the Loew’s Yonge St. Theatre on October 3, 1952, opening day of the MGM Technicolor epic Ivanhoe, which also starred Robert Taylor and Joan Fontaine. When was the last time horses showed up to a Toronto film premiere?
The Loew’s, located steps north of Queen on Yonge, opened on December 13, 1913 and was joined by the upstairs Winter Garden Theatre the following February. Fully restored in the 1980s and still operating as the Elgin & Winter Garden, the building’s current marquee is closer in style to its original Edwardian-era look seen here on November 18, 1918, not the megawatt-inducing vibe of the ’50s era marquee seen above.
Although I have a certain fondness for the bright, neon marquees of the 1950s — especially in night-time photos, where the atomic-age pylons jut for the sky — I’ve always preferred the sleek, arched design of one of its predecessors, shown here in February, 1922, with Billie Dove in At The Stage Door on the bill.
Photo credit: Queen’s University Archives.