Theatre Junction GRAND

The Grand, stylized as The GRAND (formerly Theatre Junction GRAND and The Grand Theatre), is the oldest theatre in the downtown core of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and presents cutting-edge contemporary performing arts from around the world.

Sherman Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre
Location608 1st Street SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T2P 1M6
OwnerThe Calgary Grand Theatre Society
Capacity2006: 440
(1912: 1350)
Current useTheatre
Opened1912; reopened 2006
ArchitectL.R. Wardrop


The Grand Theatre is housed in the historic Lougheed Block, which was built in 1912 by Sir James Alexander Lougheed[1] when Calgary had a population of only 50,000 people.[2] The building was designed by L.R. Wardrop and owned by Lougheed and Taylor, a firm established by Sir Lougheed. The Lougheed Block was built as a multi-purpose commercial building, accommodating retail stores, offices, living quarters, and The Grand Theatre on the ground floor. The Grand was the biggest theatre in the Pacific Northwest at the time and attracted well-known performers such as Sarah Bernhardt, Fred Astaire, Ethel Barrymore, the Marx Brothers, George Burns, Arthur Rubinstein, and Paul Robeson, among others.

The Grand Theatre was also the centre of Calgary's social and political life and served as a venue for political rallies, debates, and speaking engagements. Both the Liberal and Conservative Parties held rallies at the theatre as did Nellie McClung of the "Famous Five," Prime Minister Robert Borden, and Premier William Aberhart.

The original Grand Theatre was fashioned with 1,350 seats (810 on the main floor and 540 in the upper gallery) and boasted the largest stage in Canada when it first opened.[3] The Grand was considered modern for its time as all 15 of the dressing rooms below the stage had hot and cold running water as well as electric lighting. The theatre was also equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. In 1957, with the opening of The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, The Grand Theatre became primarily a movie house, an incarnation that lasted for almost 50 years.

In 2005, local theatre company Theatre Junction Society, raised $12 million to purchase The Grand, thus saving it from demolition.[4] Theatre Junction transformed the old theatre into the Theatre Junction GRAND.[5] In December 2018, the theatre rebranded itself to The Grand.[6]


  1. James Alexander Lougheed
  2. Calgary Public Library. "Grand Theatre (Lougheed Building)". Archived from the original on June 14, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  3. Ward, Tom (1975). Cowtown : an album of early Calgary. Calgary: City of Calgary Electric System, McClelland and Stewart West. p. 459. ISBN 0-7712-1012-4.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2014-07-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. Hobson, Louis B. (2018-12-10). "Grand Theatre to be rebranded". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2018-12-19.

Further reading

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