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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Wonderland Theatre (595 Sargent Avenue, Winnipeg)

Located on the north side of Sargent Street in Winnipeg, this theatre was commissioned in 1913 by Raymond Kershaw. Possibly built by local contractor W. J. Holmes, the building was completed at a cost of $35,000. Formal opening took place on 10 May 1913. By 1916, its hours of operation were from 2:00 PM to midnight on Monday through Friday, and 1:00 PM to midnight on Saturday. The box office was closed on Sundays although the facility was used by several church congregations and their respective Sunday Schools, including the Emmanuel Baptist Church (in 1913) and Maryland Methodist (1917-1919). During the First World War, the building was made available to veteran groups. The admission fees were 15 cents per adult, 10 cents per child, and 10 cents for a matinee.

A Radium gold fibre screen was installed in April 1917. Kershaw Theatre Limited continued to own and operate the facility until April 1918 when Kershaw sold it, moving his operations (along with the still relatively new gold fibre screen) to the new newly-rebuilt Osborne Theatre. The Wonderland Theatre continue to operate under that name into the mid-1950s. The building was demolished around 1957.

The Wonderland Theatre

The Wonderland Theatre (c.1916)
Source: “Wonderland,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 May 1916, page 13.

Site Location (lat/long): N49.89669, W97.15919
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

“Emmanuel Baptist Church,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 May 1913, page 35.

“Wonderland theatre,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 August 1913, Second Section page 7.

“Announcements [Mr. R. Kershaw],” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 August 1915, page 6.

“At the moving picture houses [Sewall Camp Scenes],” Manitoba Free Press, 7 August 1915, page 8.

“Well-known movie men of Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 20 November 1915, Religious News - Music & Drama Section page 2.

“The Wonderland,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 20 November 1915, Religious News - Music & Drama Section page 2.

“Lends theatre to veteran soldiers,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 March 1916, Religious News - Music & Drama Section page 2.

“Wonderland,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 May 1916, page 13.

“Sunday services in Winnipeg churches [Methodist - Maryland],” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 January 1917, page 13.

“Wonderland Theatre installs new screen,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 April 1917, page 20.

“Gospel in pictures,” Manitoba Free Press, 25 June 1917, page 4.

“Wonderland,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 April 1918, page 22.

“Wonderland Theatre,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 August 1918, page 16.

“Will Gibben [...],” Manitoba Free Press, 29 April 1919, page 32.

“Leaving to reside in B.C.” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 23 May 1936, page 8.

“Looking them over [There will be regret that Raymond Kershaw ...],” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 23 May 1936, page 8.

“Ex-city theatre operator dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 november 1949, page 25.

“Pioneer Winnipeg showman dies at West Coast,” Winnipeg Free Press, 10 November 1949, page 12.

“Tonight is foto nite,” Winnipeg Free Press, 25 July 1956, page 15.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 3 July 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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