Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
2004 - Now in our 13th Year - 2017
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Nathan A. (Nat) Taylor (1906-2004)
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted April, 2008
As you exit the Eaton Centre heading west to Bay Street you pass by the Church of the Holy Trinity as well as a courtyard with a clock tower and unusual lighting standards. On one of these standards you will see, facing north, this 2001 Heritage Toronto plaque. Here's what it says:
Coordinates: 43.654623 -79.381499
In 1918, at 12 years of age, Nat broke into the movie business by selling ads on the back of Hollywood postcards - 1,000 for $3 - to Queen Street movie theatres. When he entered university in 1923, he was already operating his father's Monarch Theatre on College Street.
In 1934, Nat formed Twentieth Century Theatres, which ran 72 Ontario theatres at its peak. In 1946, with associates, he created a foreign film distribution house (IFD), and in 1958, they built Toronto International Film Studios in Kleinburg. During those years, Taylor built the Twin Cinema, the International Cinema and the Glendale Theatre in Toronto; all now vanished.
Toronto-born and bred, Nat pioneered the multiple theatre concept by dualling the Elgin Theatre in Ottawa in 1957. In 1969 he adapted the Loew's Uptown in Toronto into five screens. And in 1979 Taylor created a new company, Cineplex, and built the first multiplex - comprising 18 theatres - in Toronto's Eaton Centre.
The multiplex concept saved many old theatres from destruction and changed the way people go to the movies all over the world.
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