Posts Tagged ‘1930’

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Chatham Hotel 1934

May 7, 2010

Place: Chatham Hotel
Location: Fifth Street, Chatham Ontario
Opened: January 13, 1934

The Chatham Hotel was built shortly after the Famous William Pitt Hotel.
The Turf Room opens January 7th 1964. The room was host to bands from home and afar for many, many years.

Photo: 1935 (From Union Gas Archives)
Photo can also be found in the Public Library in the following book:
Images of Canada Chatham, by Jim and Lisa Gilbert.

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Wilf Lancaster Orchestra 1938

March 7, 2010

Band: Wilf Lancaster Orchestra
Formed:  1938
Genre: Big Band

Pic 1: Circa 1939-40   Pic 2: Unknown date   Pic 3: Chatham Vocational School (Date Unknown)

  The band began as an 8-piece but had to disband as the war was breaking out. The group later reunited in 1945. They would perform 3-4 nights a week to 700-800 people at the Pyranon Ballroom a night. The war was over and dancing was popular as the soldiers came back and the girls once again had dates.
   The band gained much respect and drew fans of the music from far and wide. They would also share the stage with acts from out of town such as “the world’s fastest drummer”…Buddy Rich.
  After the initial start, the band was commonly playing as a 12 piece orchestra.
  Wilf Lancaster retired in 1970 as leader of Chatham’s best known orchestral group.

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Capitol Theatre Opens (1930)

October 28, 2009

  When the Chatham Capitol Theatre opened in 1930, it was one of the largest and most spectacular movie houses in  South Western Ontario. Saved from  demolition in 1995, the Capitol is undergoing a remarkable transformation into a state-of-the-art, 1200 seat performing arts and entertainment centre.

   When completed, the Capitol will host a variety of national and international theatre performances, concerts, and special events. The general performance  season calendar is intended to include top calibre shows, which will cover the range from drama to comedy, to opera and to gospel, rock, country, blues, jazz, and classical music. From kids to grandparents, there will be something for everyone.

 The Capitol Theatre in Chatham was built by Harris Theatres Ltd. of Sarnia, who sold the property, building, and equipment to Famous Players in February of 1930, before the theatre even opened. The auditorium was divided in 1975 to create a dual cinema. The theatre was closed in 1995, and scheduled for demolition in 1995.

   The Chatham Capitol Theatre Coalition was formed to save the theatre, and acquired the property from the city in 1996. Renovations to refurbish the theatre as a live venue are ongoing. As of 2009, they are still not finished working on the building. This has become a big topic of debate and for the city and its people.

 

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