The Redwood Theatre The Little East End Theatre that could...
You've probably heard of The Redwood Theatre a lot over the past few years. Maybe you've been there to see a Cinema Politica Danforth documentary and discussion. Or have your kids taken part in the circus camps, after school programs or puppy yoga? Possibly you've bought some local products or crafts at the Leslieville Winter Farmers Markets or come to the one of the many fundraisers, plays, concerts, Variety and Comedy shows?
These are just a few of events that have taken place at The Redwood Theatre since the Inventors Nest launched in December of 2017. Originally called the King's Royal, followed by Classic Theatre, Centre of Gravity, and the Circus Academy. Now, in honor of the building's history, it is know simply as The Redwood Theatre, located on the corner of Redwood Ave and Gerrard St. East, Toronto. In the over 100 years of The Redwood's opening as a vaudeville theatre, the building has served this community in many different ways as it survived two world wars, several depressions, and now, Covid-19.
With the closure of the Gig economy, the building must now reinvent itself so that it will survive the pandemic. While it is currently donating it's space and time to building a farmers market outpost and virtual market, we still want to ensure that we can quickly convert back to the arts when the time comes, as well as continue to pay the bills, despite losing over 90% of our tenants when we shut down in March 2020.
Rather than giving up and letting the building go, Maria and her team are launching this Go Fund Me campaign to raise monies toward expenses and towards showing our commitment to the future of the arts.
Please donate what you can. All donations will be rewarded with The Redwood Theatre Membership, which will be redeemable towards member discounts, show tickets, gift coupons, dinners, and more.
This is not the first, and will not be the last crisis that this little east end theatre survives! WE are launching this campaign to give the Not-for-profit organization that runs the building, The Inventors Nest, a chance to invest these funds into buying a piece of the theatre. Our land lord will convert any money we raise in this campaign into shares in the building. This is a great opportunity, and the best way to use our hard earned arts funding to support the future of the arts and to stop the Condo-fication of historic buildings in Toronto.
1914: The Kings Royal Theatre, later called the Classic Theatre, and currently known as The Redwood Theatre is built as a community meeting space and entertainment centre.
1918: Spanish flu pandemic - the beginning of the end of vaudeville, and the end of the first world war. Theatre is used as a recruitment centre and meeting space for the community.
1928: The Classic Theatre becomes a full time movie theatre, shutting live performances out of the business model.
1958: The building shuts down and is acquired by a department store and used for storage.
1998: Bob Hadden buys the building with the hopes of restoring it to a community theatre and art centre.
2008: Circus Academy starts, and the building becomes a full time circus school.
2018: The Inventors Nest forms a not for profit corporation to keep the building as an artists centre. Expands from circus to theatre, music, dance, culture, film, accessibility, and technology. Project is fully bootstrapped and paid for by the artists and entrepreneurs who helped rebuild the centre.
2020: January:The Redwood Theatre renovations are finally complete and launched the first full time program that had ever been in the building. The artists had won, and could now effectively pay off the huge debt they took on to save the building.
2020: March: Abrupt shut down of all activities, for all of the companies, artists, and employees of the building.
--- Skip to the future
2020: September - we submit the funds raised towards securing the future of the building for the arts and for the community.
2021: The Redwood Theatre is properly funded, and The Inventors Nest can bring in government funding to help with operating costs, and can fully support artists and other people who use the space to get their projects up and running again.
2121: The Redwood Theatre Continues to serve the community as a Holodec, organic rooftop food garden and market, teleportation centre, and 13-d art gallery...
- Ry Levey
- Liam Mulligan
- Samantha Gignac
- Libby Sparks