Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Phantom of the Opera (House)

 On the left is the 1895 London Music Hall on Dundas Street today. Below is artist Fred Harrison's depiction of the hall painted on a wall outside the Rainbow Theatre complex in the former Galleria London.

From londonhistory.org we learn that, "In 1895, the London Mechanics’ Institute, located on 229-231 Dundas Street, closed down and the theatre in this building became the London Music Hall.

The opening performance in the new London Music Hall was given by 'J. L. Clark and his excellent company of actors, singers, dancers and comedians.' For 10, 20, or 30 cents, the public could watch the presentation that was described by the Boston Globe as 'Black Face Farces' in the London Music Hall.

"The London Music Hall was later overhauled, electricity was installed, and it became a temporary theatre space for the New London Opera House.
"In 1905, the building was taken over by Charles W. Bennett, and renamed the London Vaudeville Theatre (also popularly known as Bennett’s). This theatre enjoyed exceptional success until Bennett retired in 1909. After Bennett’s was closed down, the building became the Majestic Theatre."

When I moved to London I believe the ground floor of this building was a men's clothing store and the upstairs was office space. I have heard rumours that at the very top of the building there are still clues to its opera house past.

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