Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Portage Avenue in 1948 or 1950? Actually 1951!

A busy Portage Avenue in 1948 or 1950? Or later? The reason for confusion is that the Lyceum Theatre on the right is showing a 1948 exploitation film called The Story of Bob and Sally. However, the film may have been actually released a year or two late due to violating Hollywood's productions code. "Hygienic films" were not traditional studio fare but were fictional morality tales to steer people away from alcoholism and abortion.

It is very likely to film took two years to come to Winnipeg. So, if not 1948 when what year is it? Well, the Montgomery Block was still up in 1948.

The above building is the Montgomery Block in 1948. What? This means that that The Story of Bob and Sally couldn't not have made it to Winnipeg that year because in the top picture, the Montgomery Building is gone and construction is well under way on the Toronto Dominion Bank.

The above is the demolition of the Montgomery Block in 1950. Compare to top picture again and it seems highly likely The Story of Bob and Sally made it to Winnipeg in 1951 because the Toronto Dominion Bank Building was well under way with girders up.

Here is what the Toronto Dominion Bank looked like in 1956.

What else can we see in the top picture? We can see Broadway Florists on the left which later was an original tenant of Polo Park. There are also so many people walking the street. Streetcars are still around. It would be five years later that they would be retired. Trolley lines for buses are also quite clear. Parking meters as well. Street lighting as well as traffic lights very restrained. You have to closely to see them.

As far as Portage and Main, you can see some signs but what do they say and mean?

In conclusion, it would seem the top picture is actually 1951.

Thanks to James Falk who finalized the date and time of this picture as it has been listed incorrectly for many years.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thought I'd begin with your opening sentence. That's the Lyceum Theatre on 292 Portage where the Northstar/Radisson is now stands & not the Orphium Theatre on 283 Fort. You can tell simply by the Lyceum sign ending in "ceum" clearly displayed & not "ium". The theatre was built around 1910 and demolished in 1968.

Anyways the movie in question was the theatres first showing immediately after a remodelling. Likely date for the photo was September 10-17, 1951 as the movie changed venues after 1 week.

-source Winnipeg Free Press Archives...took me 52 minutes to find this for you.