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Entertainment, Movie Theatre

Circle Theatre

About Us

1938 – The Circle Theatre was built by Oliver Stewart, construction finished in February. Mr Stewart was from Shelburne. The Circle Theatre was the first building in Alliston to have air conditioning. Businesses in Alliston were closed early every Thursday to allow patrons to attend movies. The first movie shown in the theatre was ‘Artists and Models’ with Jack Benny.
1939 – On December 21st, Mr Stewart did two free shows for children, so that their parents could do Christmas shopping on the main street. The town enjoyed one of the best business days in years, while Mr Stewart gave approximately 1000 children a free movie.
1941 – Mr Steward installed a new sign on the front of the Circle Theatre. The canopy was a V-shape and had neon lights.
1942 – Hard year for the Circle Theatre, Mr Stewart had 4 projectionists leave, the last one was Whitney MacDonald who left for active service in the war in July. His replacement was Mr Harold Cowie.
1958 – Whitney MacDonald purchased the Circle Theatre from Mr Stewart. Whitney MacDonald was a projectionist.
1970 – Scott MacDonald started managing the Theatre for his father.
1985 – Scott and Linda MacDonald took over the theatre from his father.
1986 – New seating at the Circle Theatre – newly upholstered
2011 – In October the Circle Theatre closed indefinitely. Scott, 63, passed away due to cancer.
2012 – Peter and Kate Vander Zaag purchased the Circle Theatre in April. Renovations on the roof, ceiling, walls, floor, screen, speakers, projector, bathrooms, lobby, concession and seats took place for 7 months. The Circle Theatre reopened on November 9th 2012 with Hotel Transylvania and Pitch Perfect as the opening films

The Alliston Herald, Oct 14, 1937 – A Modern Picture Theatre for Alliston
The Alliston Herald, Jan 6, 1938 – Continue Weekly Half Holiday, Business Men Much in Favor
The Alliston Herald, Feb 1938 – Theatre Nearing Completion, To Be Known as Circle Theatre
The Alliston Herald, July 2, 1942 – New Operator at Circle Theatre
The Alliston Herald, Sept 11, 1941 – Improved Facade of Circle Theatre
The Alliston Herald, Mar 27, 1985 – Movie Buff Runs Theatre
The Alliston Herald, Oct 18, 2011 – Obituary: Scott MacDonald


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19 Victoria St E PO Box 29 Alliston, ON L9R 1T3 (705) 435-7631

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