April 16, 1914 – Public announcement in Hamilton Herald for construction of a $20,000 theatre on Sherman, north of Barton



Early November 1914 – Playhouse Theatre is open to the public. Shows put-on in the 700-seat theatre would be Vaudeville or Motion picture with “no expense spared”!


1951 – Long-time owner Anthony Patzalek begins renovations to the Playhouse theatre. The plans were to include; a sloped concrete floor, removal of old seating and install of 650 new seats, updated heating & ventilation system, remodeling of the theatre interior to follow current “Art Deco” taste, renovated washrooms, powder rooms and managers office, and installation of a new marquee on the façade. Thank fully, the entire beau-arts appeal of the theatre was preserved, with a new floor, seating and new marquee being the sole improvements.


1960s – The Playhouse Theatre is sold to an Italian family and becomes Hamilton’s premier Italian Cinema, showing Italian films and Hollywood films dubbed in Italian.


1980s – With cinema admission declining and under new ownership the Playhouse begins showing ‘blue movies’ in between Italian offerings to fill seats.


August 1990 – The theatre closes as a commercial cinema.

1995 – The Playhouse is purchased on a Loan from the City of Hamilton for $225,000 by Theatre Terra Nova. Soon after the live theatre production company folds.

1997 – Todd Bender of City Kidz purchases the Playhouse, intending to grow his Christian arts program for inner city kids.


2018 – The Playhouse Theatre is sold to the Tutt family, of Princess Cinemas in Waterloo. The Tutt’s spend a year restoring the 104-year-old theatre to resemble its original décor.

March 1st, 2019 – The Playhouse Cinema is re-born, showing first-run art and independent films to Downtown Hamilton and beyond.

March 26th, 2019 – The new Playhouse Cinema sign is raised into place on the façade of the theatre. The sign, purchased from a collector’s farm in Dundas, was removed from Brantford’s Sanderson Centre. Restored by Sunset Neon, the sign has quickly become a local landmark, and beacon for independent cinema in Hamilton.


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