My Genealogy and History Page of
 Movie Theatres

  Click on Thumbnail photos below to enlarge in a new window

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 Including Text and Pictures,
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 of Web Editor, Doug Gent

The Delight Theatre
NE Corner of 5th and 12th Ave
(The First Theatre In Estevan)
Opened around 1910,
 built and operated by Lin Lundquist,
later operated by Miss Ruby Gleiser,
 and others.

Miss Ruby Gleiser

She was the First Woman in Saskatchewan,
to have a licence to operate
a movie picture projector.

Theatre was Owned
by the Kinna Family at one time.

The theatre was sold and used as
Estevan's First Hospital
until it partially burnt down.

Clarendon Hotel was Next Door
to the east, and suffered heavy damage
when the theatre burnt down.

Aug 2009
view where the old hospital stood
today Parkway Service


Victor Bernard "Bern" Turner
 b- Apr 4, 1895 at Dunkirk Hill, Kent,  England,
d- Sept 2, 1979 in Weyburn SK.
buried in Estevan City Cemetery
Bern was a Vimy Ridge Veteran.
Came to Canada in 1907 with his mother.
His father William Horace Turner,
 immigrated in 1905.
He helped his father as
caretaker of the old Central School.
Married Helen Madigan of Macoun.
Resided in Swift Current where he was
the Theatre Projectionist.
In 1921 they returned to Estevan,
He was the projectionist at the Delight Theatre first,
then the Orpheum, until he retired in 1965.
During this time he operated Turner Electric Shop.
Buried at Estevan City Cemetery

Enlisted in WWI May 24, 1916 in Estevan
Single, Church of England
5ft, 11 in tall, Moving Picture Operator
Reg # 925847

His father and mother were neighbours
of the Gus Gesell family on Valley St.

Father- William Horace Turner
b- 1869 Canterbury England
d- Nov 27, 1945 in Vancouver BC, age 72
Immigrated in 1905
Mother- Mary Anne Cairns
b- 1872 in England
d- 1953
married Apr-June 1893 in Canterbury reg dist


Orpheum Theatre
the 2nd Theatre in Estevan

1939 view of 4th St.
looking east from 12th Ave.

Aug 2009 side view

The Theatre was opened Apr 6, 1914.

Located  on the extreme left
 in picture above,
at 1235 4th St.
Orpheum was built in 1913-14
by Mr. (Harry) Henry Emerson McKenzie
also known as Mac.

b- Feb 1880 in Ontario Canada in 1911 census..
d- Nov 4,1917 in Rochester, Minnesota.
(Lake Minnetonka)
Buried there, in Groveland Cemetery
Section 1, Lot 17, grave 4.
His grave says born in 1877.
so obviously the 1911 date is wrong.
He was a member of the Masons.
Shown as a contractor in 1911 census.

The Theatre was owned by himself,
 and his partner,
Frederick (Fred) William Newcombe,

b- Jan 1879
in Maine USA, who came to Canada in 1910.
Shown as a brick man in 1911 census.
Fred became mayor of Estevan 1919-1920

Dec 8, 1913
The foundation was being installed.
It was built for moving pictures, Vaudeville,
Operas, etc.
Seating accommodation= 100
It was built from solid Brick,
reason it's still there.

One of the first operators,
could have been
Mr. Herbert Edwin Brennen.
His family history says he was there
from 1912-1919.
The dates might be a bit off,

but he no doubt was there.

In 1917 the theatre was used on Sundays
for the Presbyterian church service.

I remember as a kid going to the special
Saturday Christmas Matinee.

We would get a visit from Santa,
and a goody bag.
In the bag a real treat for me,
was the Japanese orange.
The Estevan Elks sponsored this event.

Neon clock on the wall.
Look at Facebook today,
and the favourite building
with the younger generation,
next to the Court House,
is the old Orpheum Theatre.

Harry (Mac) McKenzie's widow,
Jennie June McKenzie (nee Mill),
b- July 6, 1889-  d- July 23, 1980
operated the theatre for many years,
following the wishes of her husband,
from his death bed.
She is buried in the
 Estevan City Cemetery.

Leo Maher was another owner
exact dates unknown.

John A. (Jack) McKenzie
b- ca 1886 in Saskatchewan
d- Tuesday, Nov 12, 1940, age 54, in Winnipeg MB
Funeral held at Whitewood SK United Church
and he was buried in family plot, at Whitewood.
He owned the Orpheum Theatre,
from 1924 to his death in 1940.
He entered the theatre business in Weyburn,
in 1910, and sold out in 1921.
He went into business for a short time in Vancouver BC.
First time a "Talking Picture" was shown
at the Orpheum Theatre, was in the Fall of 1929,
with Chester Morris starring in "ALIBI",

Jack McKenzie was the Manager
with Victor Bernard "Bern" Turner
and Philip Peters, the Projectionists.

Early in 1929 he installed sound equipment,
making it the 4th Theatre in SK.
and 52nd in Canada to have that equipment.

In 1930 the Orpheum was the
First Theatre in the Dominion
to receive the Bronze Plaque, for Sound Production
awarded by the trade magazine
sent to Theatre Owners only,
"Exhibitor's Herald World", of New York.

Jack Mcknezie had 2 sisters,
Mrs. Effie Shantz, and Mrs. James Reeves,
of Winnipeg, MB
and a brother, Donald Mckenzie, in Kisbey, SK.
He also had an older brother William McKenzie.
who died before him.
a Nephew Clifford McKenzie from Minneapolis
attended his funeral.

After his father died,
the Orpheum was owned by ECI Alumni,
and Jack's son,
John "Duane" McKenzie, ca 1940-1961
b- Aug 6, 1912 in Weyburn SK
He died Monday afternoon, Oct 23, 1961
from a fatal heart attack,
while on a hunting trip with his son,
He died at the young age of 49.
With him was J. A. Hart, manager
of Quality Beverages Ltd., in Estevan,
which was also owned by Mr. McKenzie.
Duane was a Past President of the
Souris-Estevan Liberal Association.
He received his public education in the States.
Vancouver and Estevan,
before attending University of Manitoba,
where he graduated with a degree
in Electrical Engineering.
From 1936-1939 he was employed by
 the Dominion Electric Power Co. in Estevan.
Later Sales Engineer for
 the D. M. Fraser Co. Ltd. of Toronto
 He bought the Orpheum theatre in 1940.
He started Quality Beverages in 1958.
Located corner of 6th St and 14th Ave.
50 x 96 ft. building.
Now the Work-Kin recycling shop.
It cost $90,000 to build.
Employed 8 people.
Handled 3 franchises.
Capacity was 80 cases of soft drinks per hour.
It consumed 1,000 gallons of city water/hour.
Member of the Public and Collegiate Boards
from 1945-1955.
Chairman of St. Joseph's Hospital Advisory Board
until his death.
He donated his engineering time to many
community projects at no cost.
The arena and curling rink installation of Ice
were 2 of his projects.
Past President of
the SK Motion Picture Exhibitors Association.
Member of
the Motion Picture Industry Council of Canada.
Wife- Mary Louise, son Robert, and daughter Mary.
he was survived by his Mother- Lydia McKenzie
b- Apr 1890 in USA, immigrated to Canada in 1905.
Swedish ancestry.
Duane had a brother- Dr. Francis McKenzie,
of Colburn MB
Funeral service Friday Oct 27, 1961 in Estevan
Dr. Francis McKenzie served at St Joseph's Hospital
in Estevan ca 1941-42.

Other owners after Mr. McKenzie,
the Frank Muss family ca 1962-1990,
Mr Frank Muss was from Weyburn area as well.
He started out as a grain buyer at Cedoux.
In 1947 he started his training as a Projectionist
at Weyburn.  2 years later he purchased
the Theatre in Arcola, which he operated until 1962.
when he moved to Estevan to take over the Orpheum.

Next owner- A. King ca 1990-?.
Then Frank's son, Earl Muss- 1996

My Mother during the early 60's, was a janitor
at the theatre, and she worked for Mr. Duane McKenzie.

2009- Famous Players theatre,
with Dolby sound.

Orpheum Theatre Ad

Souris Valley Theatre

Operating in the summer, since 1990

Located down at the Souris River,
on the North side of the river,
adjacent to Woodlawn Regional Park.
Originally located in a large tent
to the NW of the
Old Estevan Swimming Pool.
A new building now houses this troupe.

Known for their live historical plays,
First performance- Volstead Blues.


Star-Lite Drive-In Theatre.

(another possible name-
Sunset Drive-In?)

opened ca1955, closed ca1990

Located Just east of the train overpass
Between the train tracks,
adjacent, to the West,
and Highway 39, (Service Road),
adjacent, to the north,
on the East end of the city.
Sitting in your cars you faced west.
That way the setting sun would not
shine on the screen.
Show time was at Dusk.
2 speakers on on one metal post.
One car on each side.
Speakers were on coiled cords,
in metal boxes with a hook on the back
which would then hang on the inside
of the drivers window.
On the front a volume control.
No Stereo or Dolby sound then.

It was owned by Dale Abbott,
and G. Giem, ca 1955,
then Dale Abbott ca 1965,
and Don Outhwaite ca 1980.

Car capacity from 200-383
depending on what book you read.

The drive-ins were known for their corny
go to the
snack stand commercials.

Mosquitos, and driving away
with the speaker still on the window,
were common occurances.




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No Reproduction in Whole or in Part may be made
without the express Written Permission
 of Doug Gent

Page created by Doug Gent 2016
June 11, 2011

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