In 1911, the Bailey Theatre in Camrose was a house for vaudeville shows. But as technology changed, so did the spot. Silent films were shown, then talkies, then political rallies and boxing matches. Then nothing.
After 15 dormant years – which included 11 years of intermittent renovating – a $2.2 million grant from the federal government and a $2.5 million personal donation from construction businessman Frank McInnis helped finalize the restoration. The theatre is once again an entertainment venue, providing a stage for concerts, plays and more.
The $8.1-million renaissance of the building balances modern, high-performance technology with history and heritage just in time for its centennial. According to production manager Nathan Huisman, the aim was to stay as faithful to the original’s ornate feel as possible. “It’s such a majestic place, a beautiful building,” he says.