History InSite: 38 James Street, 9718-N

The King George Theatre, 1917. STCM 9718-N.

The King George Theatre was built in 1915 and was one of the first movie houses in St. Catharines. It was renamed the Park Theatre in 1947 and operated until 1956. James Street was often referred to as ‘Peanut Alley’ since the popular concession stand snack frequently littered the street after movies let out. The King George played silent films and featured a live sound track that was performed by local pianists and organists. Admission was 10 cents.

Let’s Go to the Movies

There were plenty of options for movie goers during the golden age of Hollywood through to the 1960s, including the Centre, the Palace, and the Capitol theatres.

The Centre Theatre, located just up the street from the King George, on James Street, c. 1940. STCM 1940.4.4.2
The Palace, at the corner of St. Paul and Carlisle, formerly the Griffin Opera House, hosted movies and concerts, including Gordon Lightfoot, in 1968. STCM S1968.6.5.2.
The Capitol, also on St. Paul Street, in 1944. STCM S1944.52.11.1

There’s More to the Story

Check out the entire History InSite installation and find the other panels.

About History InSite

A permanent, site specific installation, History InSite juxtaposes historical photographs with modern streetscapes by presenting the photo in, or close to, the place which it was taken.

St. Catharines has a rich photographic history and when compared to the changing streetscapes around the City, that history becomes much more meaningful, poignant, and relevant to our modern eyes.

History InSite is presented by the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre.

Graffiti Report

If you spot any graffiti on our purple History InSite signs, please send us a message and photo via email museum@stcatharines.ca.