Thursday, November 26, 2009

days of carltons past: bonus features

Before reading this post, check out the related Torontoist article.
Vintage Ad #969: Grand Opening of the Odeon Toronto
This ad appeared in Toronto newspapers on September 8, 1948, the day before the Odeon Toronto's opening gala. I considered using it for the article, but none of the copies I found were in good shape. This version from the Globe and Mail was the least scruffy of the lot—the copy in the Star looked as if somebody had dropped a bottle of ink on it.
To modern eyes, the coverage of opening night makes the event feel as if it was "let's suck up to the British" time...except that the speeches that stressed the importance of Toronto's strong ties to Great Britain were the norm during the first half of the twentieth century. When Mayor Hiram McCallum told the audience that “the future of this country lies with the British community of nations,” he repeated a mantra uttered by numerous dignitaries before him. McCallum also mentioned it was fitting that ever-loyal Toronto received such a fine British-owned theatre, as if the city was a small child rewarded by its parent for obedience. This tone was far more evident in the Globe's coverage than the Star's—while reading the latter I sensed a cynical tone towards the evening (reports that those in formal dress wielding invites were able to skip the long lineup, and a comment that "it was what they call a ‘brilliant premiere.’ That is to say, a lot of people gathered in the lobby to exchange small talk.”).
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Other recent Torontoist posts for your reading pleasure:

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