The Royal Alexandra Theatre is North America’s only truly “royal” theatre – “royal” by patent from Edward VII – named with royal permission for his consort, Alexandra, a Danish princess and great-grandmother of the present queen.
Since its opening in 1907, almost 3000 productions have played the Royal Alexandra. Its roster of stars is an honour-roll of twentieth century theatre: John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Katherine Cornell, Helen Hayes, Orson Welles, Ruth Gordon, Al Jolson, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Pickford, Cedric Hardwicke, Sydney Greenstreet, John and Ethel Barrymore, Fred and Adele Astaire, Harry Lauder, Maurice Evans, Alan Bates, Marilyn Miller, Deborah Kerr… Edith Piaf sang here, Paul Robeson played Othello here, Pavlova danced here, the Marx Brothers made Alex audiences laugh and Mae West made them blush.
Edwin “Honest Ed” Mirvish purchased the Royal Alexandra from the Mulock estate in 1963 and closed the theatre for extensive modernisation, repair and renovation, restoring the old house to the splendour of its early days. Ed Mirvish personally oversaw the operation of the theatre for the next 23 years, until 1986 when he handed management and administration over to his son, David, and David’s company, Mirvish Productions.
The Royal Alexandra was named a National Historic Monument in 1987, on its 80th birthday.
260 King Street West, Toronto