Curtain call for historic Englehart theatre building

·2 min read

By Jamie Mountain

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

ENGLEHART – A significant piece of history in Englehart will soon meet its demise.

The building located at 50 Third Street, once the home of the old Palace Theatre, will be demolished “sometime between April 1 and November 30,” according to Englehart chief administrative officer Shawn LaCarte.

“The earlier the better, but unfortunately there will be half loads put on the road to the landfill, so it may have to be delayed until they are removed in June or July,” he explained in an email interview.

LaCarte noted that a demolition for the building was tendered in February and the contract has been awarded to Priestly Demolition Inc. of King, Ontario.

J.L. Richards and Associates will be the engineer and will oversee the entire project, he added.

“The lowest tender was for $179,850,” said LaCarte.

“The total cost of the project will be just over $200,000.”

As for the vacant lot that will be available once the demolition work is completed, LaCarte said the town has “not been contacted by any parties showing interest for the property as of yet.”

At Englehart council’s regular meeting March 24, LaCarte told council that J.L. Richards would be in town this week for the abatement process.

He also said hazardous waste would have to be removed in the siding of the building.

Englehart Mayor Nina Wallace commented at the meeting that “it will be nice to see that (building) gone.”

BUILDING’S HISTORY

The Palace Theatre operated out of the building for nearly 70 years, closing its doors for good on March 28, 1984, when it was under the management of Wayne McCallan.

The original Theatre was opened in 1917 by Nick Korman and it was just the fifth movie theatre built in Northeastern Ontario.

It eventually became part of a chain that had five theatres in operation under the direct ownership of the Korman family and had another seven or eight operate in conjunction with a major movie chain giant.

The Palace then moved to the Third Street location in 1948 for a cost of $75,000.

McCallan purchased the theatre from the Korman family in 1981.

The final movie shown at the Palace was Terms of Endearment which ran from March 22 to March 28, 1984.

In more recent years, the building has housed hair salons and apartments. CJBB FM radio also broadcast out of the basement for a period of time.

LaCarte noted that the owner of the property closed the building on December 31, 2012. It hasn’t been inhabited since.

Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker