NL Gazette

Historic St. John’s theatre-going back to its origins under new ownership

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • The downtown structure was the birthplace of a political riot of 1932.
  • The Majestic Theatre in downtown St. John’s is under fresh ownership. 
  • Terra Bruce Productions is retreating the structure into a live event theatre. 

Majestic Theatre under new ownership: 

The historic Majestic Theatre in downtown St. John’s is on the path to returning to its ex glory. 

The property has been grabbed up by Terra Bruce Productions, which submitted a bid to the city over the winter to restore the popular live venue — one that has noticed some changes over its lifetime — and has since purchased it.

“The main matter of that application was to see if we could kind of move to revive it as a working theatre as objected to what it has been for the previous 20 years, which has been a rotating sequence of awkward nightclubs,” the firm’s chief operating officer, Bob Hallett, told CBC News on Tuesday. 

“We want to shift it back into an operating theatre, what it was when constructed in 1918. That was the glory of theatres then in St. John’s.”

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The property has been snatched up by Terra Bruce Productions

The building holds recorded significance but is a live venue for performing arts.

The theatre was the home of the historic political riot in April 1932. Nearly 2,000 people assembled there before marching on the Colonial Building in nearby Bannerman Park — the ex-House of Assembly — to call on the legislature to investigate accusations against Sir Richard Squires, then prime minister of Newfoundland.

At the time, Squires had to be spirited out of the Colonial Building as the crowd broke windows and doors and scuffled with police.

The city-states, the theatre was also the site of protests for responsible government and later became the headquarters of the Confederate Party during the Confederation dispute in 1948-49.

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