Historic Sites of Manitoba: Roxy Theatre / Roxy Lanes (385 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg)
This dark red brick building on Henderson Highway in Winnipeg was designed by local architect Max Zev Blankstein and built in 1929 with work overseen by the city engineering department's John Worthy Battershill to ensure that fireproofing requirements were met by owner Jacob Miles.
The 1,200-seat, two-storey theatre opened to the public on 24 December 1929. It featured a Spanish-style draw curtain while the ceiling consisted of a blue-sky image with lights in the ceiling creating an image of twinkling stars and slowly drifting stars. The inside walls were decorated in the style of Spanish Moorish houses with sloping tile roofs and windows which were curtained and lighted. The lobby contained a stone fireplace built from Manitoba Tyndall stone while the outside of the theatre featured a 10-foot neon sign.
The theatre closed in May 1960 and reopened as a 20-lane bowling alley on 24 December 1960, exactly 31 years after its initial opening. The bowling alley closed in 2022 and, at the time of a 2023 site visit, the building was vacant.
“New theatre will open on Christmas Eve,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 December 1929, page 19.
“Roxy,” Manitoba Free Press, 25 December 1929, page 4.
Max Blankstein: Architect by Murray Peterson, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, 2022.
385 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation.
“Roxy Lanes could face wrecking ball after being sold, heritage advocates fear,” CBC News, 16 April 2022.
Page revised: 14 January 2023