Cosy Theatre, George Facey's Tire Store and Sterling Johnston's Grocery 1925
Picture from Stephen Ashton. Thanks to Joan (Facey) Ashton
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from The Evening Guide   March 23, 1911
At the Crystal Palace - The attraction at the Crystal Palace for to-day and to-morrow, with matinees each day, will be Goldie and Hume, the black and white face comedy team. All lovers of good music should not fail to hear them, as they are experts on all kinds of musical instruments. Change of pictures each day; also illustrated songs and orchestral Music.

from 'Memory Lane' article
by Gordon C Garbutt
The favourite pastime of many Port Hopers of the era was movie-going. The first theatre I remember was the Crystal Palace, a long building along the west bank of the river with a frontage of about 50 feet on Walton Street. On one side of the aisle was a board floor with theatre seats; on the other a hard-packed dirt floor and wooden benches. The matinee admission was 3 cents on the dirt floor side, five cents for the seats. The usual program comprised a brief newsreel (provided free to theatres by Ford Motor Co of Canada as an advertising vehicle), a chapter of a serial (one-third reminding you of what you saw in last week's installment, one-third new action, one-third a foretaste of next week's chapter), a one-reel comedy (maybe John Bunny or Andy Clyde), and a William S Hart western.

'Crystal Palace' was likely the original name of the movie theatre operated in this building. By 1920 it was called the Majestic Theatre and was managed by John Syme Laurie, Sr. In 1921 the manager was John Stuart Smart and it was known as the Cosy, its last iteration was as the Regent Theatre. It later became Stevenson's Bowling Alley, then Haggis's Bowling Academy. It's uncertain whether at the time of this photo it was the Cosy or the Regent.

from the Evening Guide  Tuesday June 28, 1929
The fact that the equipment of the Royal Theatre is being removed to the Regent should not be taken as an indication that the smaller theatre is to be reopened. At present there is no definite prospect of a theatre for Port Hope, and - as far as the Famous Players Canadian Corporation is concerned - there will be no decision until after J S Smart returns from the company's convention in Niagara Falls next week.

from A Lifetime of Devotion 2001
by Jack Laurie (son of J S Laurie)
When I was about ten years old, my father operated the Majestic Theatre on Walton Street. It was located on the north side of the street, just west of the bridge under which the Ganaraska River flows. In the late nineteenth century, this building, known then as the Crystal Palace, was operated by a Mr [William] Hill, the father of Bernice and Beulah Hill. By the time my father was running the theatre it was known as the Majestic. The movies shown were, of course, silent movies, as this was all before the 'talkies', or moving pictures with sound, were invented. I think I saw every moving picture that came into Port Hope. Perhaps in some ways it entertained me as a young lad as much as television does today for children of this age.

Unfortunately father's business, through no fault of his, came to an abrupt halt. I don't recall the exact time, but about 1922 or 1923, the Ganaraska River overflowed its banks. A lumber mill upriver from the bridge had all sorts of lumber, timber and logs stored in its mill yard. The river water eventually rose to such a height that it floated these items and the torrent of water moving downstream picked these up in the current and projected them south. One log I remember entered the back of the Theatre and exited out the front door. Eventually others dammed against the rear wall and the pressure destroyed the entire wall. My father found himself without a building to show the movies and therefore without a job as well. I no longer saw movies every day.

I also recall the old Royal Theatre which was on the second floor of the Royal Bank building. It was managed for a long time by Stuart Smart. Eventually it was condemned as unsafe later in the 1920s. My father's old Majestic Theatre was consequently restored, refurbished and reopened. It was operated under the name of the Cosy Theatre. Later it was operated by a Mr Kirby. During much of the 1920s, and earlier, the projectionist was a Mr Harcourt. I remember that Ken Harvey delivered the handbills advertising the movies throughout town, Dora Mathews sold tickets at the theatre wicket, and Mr Winfield not only sold tickets, but once the movie began, he played the piano in accompaniment to the activity on the screen.

In 1930, the movie distribution company Famous Players, opened Ontario's first theatre designed especially for the new talking movies. The Capitol Theatre on Queen Street opened on August 15,1930, with the marquis advertising 'Queen High' starring Charles Ruggles. On opening night, Helen Roach was the ticket seller, Harold Connors the ticket taker. Lyall Carr or Keith Long acted as ushers and Mike Freeman and Mr Harcourt were the projectionists. Twenty-five cents gained you admission to the new theatre, the best in Ontario at the time.

from The Evening Guide  July 20, 1925
Green Lantern Restaurant Taken Over by Toronto Men
It was announced to-day that Chinese business men from Toronto have acquired The Green Lantern Restaurant from Mr. James Mathewson, late proprietor. The new owners of the store intend remodelling the interior of the place and reopening it at an early date as the Port Hope Cafe. The complete equipment of the Green Lantern was disposed of to the same firm.
Mr. Paul Haggis has purchased the pool [billiards] and tobacco business formerly owned by Mr. Roy Farr, and we understand that Mr. Farr intends opening a new business, the nature of which is not definitely decided upon, in the Cosy Theatre building.

George Facey in his shop
Picture from Stephen Ashton. Thanks to Joan (Facey) Ashton
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Through flood, depression, hard times and good, George Facey, dealer in Port Hope, near Toronto, Ont., has won himself a record to be proud of, 30 years a Goodyear dealer.
"Thirty years ago, when I was ready to go into business for myself," George says, "I went to Goodyear for advice. I've used Goodyear tires and accessories ever since. Didn't find the location I was lookingfor in Toronto, but one day I'd decided to go down to Peterborough. Coming back I stopped off at PortHope and looked around, decided to stay,and have been here ever since June of 1920."
Back in 1935, Port Hope suffered a flood "which almost washed my store away," George says. "The river running beside my door was blocked with ice, and it flooded the town."
Father of two daughters, George is a keen fisherman. One of his greatest joys is still to get together with the boys of the Vets Association of the First World War. He belongs to three groups, the Legion, Ex-Service Men's Club, and the 58th Battalion Association, Toronto.

Shop interior with Sterling Johnston and an unidentified customer

Sterling Johnston, Butcher
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Thomas William Ford and daughter Stella Maud (Ford) Johnston.
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View from Mill Street behind the Facey and Groome (formerly Sterling Johnston's) stores during the flood of 1936

Flood damage 1936

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