Fifteen years ago when Chapters announced it was moving into the historic Runnymede Theatre in Bloor West Village, residents were in an uproar. Locals feared the retailer known for its suburban big box bookstores would desecrate the beloved local landmark. Fortunately those worries were ill-founded when Chapters sympathetically installed their store into the theatre.
|The view from the balcony level|
|The stage now houses books and magazine|
|Original theatre seats are reused through the store|
When Chapters moved into the space they restored the interior to its 1920s heyday. The balcony was turned into a playful children's book area; the stage became accessible and now houses magazine and books; and original theatre seats were repurposed throughout the store to provide seating to browsers.
One hopes that when Shoppers Drug Mart moves in they will be as sympathetic and diligent a caretaker of the building's heritage as Chapters has been. The Toronto Star has quoted Shoppers Drug Mart as saying "We will be retaining all of the existing historical features, interior and exterior, including the stage and interior walls."