Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Winter Garden Theatre: Doors Open Toronto

The Winter Garden Theatre, part of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre combo, is so enchanting! My visit inside is the last of the places I visited around the city for Doors Open Toronto, and one I added to my list upon the recommendation of Tanya when we were checking out the faces on the awning the day before, and having also stumbled over this blog post the night before.

I joined the long line for one of the scheduled tours, and we were soon filed into the theater, and up the stairs. Up to the seventh floor, we walked through gorgeous hallways and stairways, so grand and ornate, before being shown to seats in the Winter Garden Theatre.

Taking in the amazing sights around us, being the picturesque setting on the fire curtain on the stage, the forest-like hangings of the roof of the circle section, and then ornate boxes. The trees all around, with crawling vines all over the walls and actual roof, with a lit moon above. A wonderland, indeed! It is so pretty!

Once seated, one of the volunteers of the theater told us of the history and function of the theater. One of only 3 double theater complexes in the world, this is the only one where both stages are functioning at this time. But that was not always the case, with this one closed for many, many years, and the painstaking restoration from it's reopen was recounted, which was as amazing as the features of the insides itself.

The forest on the roof is part real, and certainly started out as all actual foliage from nature. Many of the lanterns have needed to be replaced, as they seemed to have been taken as souvenirs or for patios parties over the years of long ago staff and owners!

The Elgin Theatre would have been part of the tour, however it was being readied for it's next show on this day. Is the venue where Cats showed for almost 2 years. The Theatre complex will be 90 years old next year, and is a treat to visit, and would be a delight to see a show in - although one wonders whether the enchanting interiors would distract from the show!

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