A point of interest on the Winnipeg in the Limelight GPS-guided audio walking tour.
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Now that we are at the Main Street entrance to Market Square, take a look around you at this small lot named Bijou Park. On the arch near the park entrance, you will find a small plaque dedicated to the Bijou Theatre, which once stood here. I've put some old pictures of what this area used to look like on the stop description if you want to take a look while I talk about it!
You can pinpoint the theatre in the pictures as it's beside the tall building on this side of the street.
The Bijou Theatre opened in the West Clements Block in 1904. The West Clements Block was built in 1884 on the foundations of the old courthouse and jail. Much like many other theatres of the time it was an up-and-coming vaudeville house. By 1911 the Bijou had started playing moving pictures, making it one of the earliest movie theatres in Winnipeg. As more movie theatres joined their ranks, the Bijou held onto their popularity by screening new films before others could. Now, these early films are hardly well-known hits today, unless you're familiar with 1915's The Man Trail or the variety of documentary footage that was popular at the time.
In 1930, the Bijou was completely renovated to accommodate the up-and-coming "talkies"; these new renovations earned the theatre significant praise, but it's fame could not last forever.
Over the years, the theater suffered from deterioration and dwindling attendance. The Bijou closed in 1965, and sadly, the Clements Block burned down in 1979.
Winnipeg in the Limelight
This POI is featured on the Winnipeg in the Limelight Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.
All audio walking tours are GPS-guided and include fully narrated commentary.
Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia challenge you can test your skills on.
The trivia questions are separate from the commentary and completely optional.
The app keeps score for you so you can challenge your friends and family.