Future of the Westdale theatre

The historic Westdale Theatre is officially closed for renovations with plans to re-open next spring. It opened in 1935 and 600 people could watch what many now call the classics. After upgrades in the 70’s the seating was replaced and reduced to 485.

Now Hollywood film producer and Dundas resident Fred Fuchs and Hamilton heritage guy Graham Crawford are part of the Westdale cinema group looking forward to bringing the theatre back to life.

“We’re going to put in a small stage so we can have a small live performance, a chamber orchestra, lectures, other kinds of events.”

Their goal is to create a state-of-the-art space, a cultural and economic hub for Westdale Village and the city.

“We think it is going to take us between 8 and 12 months because so much has to be repaired or upgraded.”

It’s the first time in its history it’s been closed.

This weekend, they’re holding a fundraising event called Building Magic, between 2-5 pm.


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Sean says:

My concern is that they haven’t communicated a vision for the space and indicated if they have someone in their group who has ever successfully managed such a project or ran a successful theatre business. Many good intentions. But often it’s just that left leaning egalitarian community garden philosophy. And they hope to find direction and leadership on the way. The theatre needed new ownership and management. The building definitely needed to be renovated, but these projects can get bogged down. Currently we have lost a great old theatre. It is closed with no firm date for re-opening or how the business end will operate and which programming selections will be made.

It’s a real concern. Public engagement is fine. If they don’t get bogged down by a million suggestions from people who have no real experience in this field.