Now’s The Perfect Time For Popcorn

If you read a real estate listing that contains the words ‘charming and nostalgic’ it would probably be wise to consider passing on it 😉 Happily, this is not the case with the Princess Theatre in Edmonton. Located on Whyte Avenue in the historic Old Strathcona district, this old dame of cinema first opened way back on March 8th, 1915.


The Princess Theatre


The Princess Theatre In Edmonton

Heralded as the largest stage in western Canada, Edmontonians of the day enjoyed vaudeville musicals and stage shows.  Back then, one of these dapper ushers might have shown you to your seat, isn’t that charming?

1916 Princess Theatre Ushers

By 1916, they quit booking live acts in favour of the cinema side of the business.  Patrons arriving in 1929, were enjoying the modern new ‘talkies’. They were all the rage and thus The Princess underwent the first of many renovations.

Talkies At The Princess

Flash forward a mere 83 years and we arrived tonight for the 6:50 showing of ‘Hitchcock’ starring the amazing Anthony Hopkins with the delightful Helen Mirren (did you see her in ‘The Queen”?)  Then there’s the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson.  Really, how could you not be gorgeous with the name ‘Scarlett’ ?

Now Showing

The theatre lobby promo was a fun shower prop. You could climb in to make your own promo. I thought of being more dramatic, but there wasn’t enough room with all the puffy clothing we wear here (as not to perish in the cold) 😀

Not To Scary

It’s fun going to a theatre with a balcony, unfortunately it was full up, so we sat up close and personal on the main floor.

Oh La La - A Balcony

The frescos above the screen are very pretty. They’re painted in the Maxfield Parrish style, who I just love.

Charming & Nostalgic

While times have changed, the Princess has hung on.  Through wars, building booms and busts, the advent of  television, video and now cable and Netflix.  The repertoire of films showing here, typically don’t run at the multiplex.  I’ve seen so many great performances here, La Vie En Rose,  A Room With A View and Little Miss Sunshine come to mind.  The treats are ‘regular size’ and affordable, what could be better than that?  Like the sign says, “now’s the perfect time for popcorn”.

Popcorn? Yes Please

PS, I give ‘Hitchcock’ 3.5 stars out of 5 but here’s what they said on Rotten Tomatoes.

Related sites:

Old Strathcona Historic District In Edmonton

Black & White Photo’s via Wikimedia Commons

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27 thoughts on “Now’s The Perfect Time For Popcorn

  1. What a fun piece, Boomdee. I love the old theaters. They have style, charm and history in their walls. We have a few left, but they are certainly a dying breed. I love the photo of you in the “shower.” So clever.


    1. Thank you for that Alys. That little photo op would be fun in a summer showing when you’re not wearing big jackets. We love this theatre too. We went out for dinner across the street at one of our favourite restaurants. They make yummy borsch and dill pickle soup (European food). I bought my Aqua Christmas tree at a shop near by. When you visit me, we will definitely spend some time there. We’ve looked at a number of houses within walking distance because it’s central, hopefully the right one will pop up.


      1. Oh that would be awesome! When you said “visit me” I got goose bumps. Oh my what fun we’ll have. I need to update my passport…this is good incentive to get on it. How wonderful to be walking distance from all this. My dream!


        1. 😀 We can walk here in about 30 – 40 minutes, depends how many shop windows we want to look in. I can’t wait to find a house, so I can look forward to your stay….It’s a beautiful wish of mine too. xoK


        2. How nice of you to remember. I am missing all my ‘stuff’. Although if we’re here much longer I soon have a lot of it dragged downtown. I’ve been taking boxes, shuffling things around, returning other stuff. Fingers crossed. I think in the spring, we’ll start to see new listings come up 🙂


    1. Thanks for your message Anne and for your visit while you’re trying to keep warm over there. It really is a little gem. There’s a smaller screen downstairs too, with a separate entrance and another very very tiny snack bar.


    1. I think people are starting to see the value of refurbishing good architecture. The malls they build now are so devoid of character. Doesn’t seem to matter, they tear em down as fast as they build them. Thanks, I’m pretty sure I was the only one who was game. I think the 20’s in Edmonton were pretty rough, it was still the wild wild west. But I love looking at pictures of historical Edmonton, you’ll see the odd building that’s still around and wonder what happened to the rest. Thanks for your message Sheryl!


  2. I love it when they keep old buildings like this and update them, instead of tearing them down. I think that girl in the movie poster looks like Jessica in Roger Rabbit! Ya think?


    1. Does your town have an historic district. We have a few areas in Edmonton, this one is full of shops and resturaunts and of course this cinema. It is a shame that so many gems have been lost to the wrecking ball. I think we’re getting smarter about it. The girl in the movie poster says thank you so much but as for Jessica in Roger Rabbit, only if you’ve had a whole lot to drink LOL….Val, are you into the sauce?


      1. Been drinking over here since Christmas! LOL (cheers) But my eyesight still works well! hee hee hee We have some really nice old building in downtown Cleveland, but not in our city.


    1. Ha, thanks Aunty, one of my pre-Christmas steals..2 for 1 at Reitmans. Got the hat & scarf for $10…it’s that color I can’t resist…I even got the matching nail polish…OMG, I’m crazy for seafoam. LUL xK


    1. Thank you. It’s one of our favourite places because of the neighbourhood. There’s great restaurants and shops, all unique…NO big box stores. Most of the buildings in the area are historical or rebuilt with architecture that actually compliments the neighbourhood. It’s all lit up for the holidays and surprise… was only -11 C…that’s like a heat wave for us. I did enjoy the movie stylings as I love the cars and fashions of the era so much. The performances are really well executed, especially Helen Mirren. The story felt flat and meandered at times. I’m on the fence. We like to see things at the Cinema to support the local businesses. If we waited for everything to show up on cable, we’d soon loose these gorgeous old buildings.


Talk nerdy to me………..

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