Face Saving

As many of you know, the marquee you see in front of the Westdale Theatre is not the original. Not even close. We believe the current facade was added in the late 1960’s, but we can’t find any specific records to confirm that. If you know, please contact us.

What we do know is the original facade is beautiful. Made by artisans who were hired to carve the limestone specified by local architect, Bruce Riddell. It also features two hand-carved masks of Comedy and Tragedy. We believe all of that is still underneath the metal light box that was placed in front of the original facade.

To find out, we asked for a favour from our friend Jeff Feswick, owner of Historia Restoration. His team removed a single panel from the western side of the current marquee so we could have a look. We’d hoped to find the original canopy underneath. Unfortunately, no such luck. The canopy is gone, although the steel I-beam structure is still there.

We have 3 main photographs we’re using to determine the details of the original design. We’re hoping to find some original design drawings too, but nothing so far. Our plan is to have it replicated.

The letters are the most memorable part of the current facade. We’ll save them, of course, but we’re committed to returning the facade to the way it was when the theatre first opened in August of 1935. The letters won’t end up in the dumpster. How and where we’ll use them is still being discussed.

Before we restore, we first have to confirm everything is still there. That will happen in the very near future. Stay tuned. We’ll post the news when we dig a little deeper.