It all began in October 1913 when a man named Arthur Brooks Webster was issued a permit to build a theatre on Queen St East, close to Beech Ave. At the time, the resident Beachers were not too thrilled about having another theatre in their midst; as there were already two other local cinemas (The Coliseum, and The Peter Pan). This forced Webster to petition door to door in the neighborhood, enlisting his friends to help out, and eventually he gained the necessary support.

In April 1914 the Toronto Sunday World reported that the doors were opening on the Theatre Without a Name. Opening nights feature film was "The Squaw Man,” and a contest was announced to name the theatre. For a short time after (April 1914 until December 1914) the theatre ran under the name The Pastime. Within the same year however that name would be changed to Prince Edward, to honor the Prince of Wales. This was a patriotic gesture in response to Britain’s (and, subsequently, Canada’s) declaration of war against Germany. In fact, the stain glass window bearing that name, Prince Edward, remains above the interior doorway of the theatre.

In 1918 Webster died and the theatre was taken over by his son, Cecil Herbert Webster.

Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s the movie industry changed drastically; from silent films, to talkies, to full sound, and The Prince Edward always kept up with the industry.

In 1937 the name of the theatre was changed to The Fox, and the name has stuck for 70 years. While ownership of the theatre has changed several times, The Fox has remained a mainstay of the Beach Community for nearly a century, making it the longest running cinema in Canada

May 2017

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