A point of interest on the Winnipeg in the Limelight GPS-guided audio walking tour.
Press play & listen to the tour audio!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Pantages Theatre! The show is about to start!
Above the grand entrance to the Theatre, you can see what the theater was offering it's patrons when it opened in 1914: "Unequaled Vaudeville".
Alexander Pantages, owner and operator of the Pantages Theatre Circuit, wasn't exaggerating. By the 1920s, there were 75 Pantages Theatre's scattered across North America and high-profile vaudevillians traveled from theatre to theatre.
And, rumour has it, Winnipeg was the crown jewel in the Pantages chain. It was the starting point of the theatre circuit, so all performers started here and cycled around the 74 other theatres. Winnipeg crowds, ever budget-consciousness, were not about to hold back if a show was not worth their money. For Pantages, then, Winnipeggers made the perfect test audience; If you made it in Winnipeg, you could make it anywhere.
The Pantages Theatre chain shut down by the 1930s, and today the Winnipeg theatre is one of only a few remaining Pantages Theatres left in North America.
In July 2020, the theatre sold to the Performing Arts Coalition which intends to raise the millions necessary to restore the historic venue and install a management team to operate it.
Now let's continue walking on to a more modern era in Winnipeg's theatre world.
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.