Sanderson Centre History
The Sanderson Centre has been a Downtown Brantford entertainment destination since 1919. Its magnificent design and architecture represents our remarkable past and reflects the evolution and growth of our heritage and culture today.
Opened as the Temple Theatre on December 22, 1919, it was originally designed as a vaudeville and silent movie house. The grand and glorious theatre was designed by world famous Scottish architect Thomas W. Lamb and was erected at the cost of $350,000.
By the late 1920s, feature film presentations had eclipsed vaudeville as the entertainment rage and the Temple Theatre was swept along with the popular tide. In 1929, Famous Players purchased the Temple Theatre and it was renamed the Capitol in the early 1930s.
In an effort to preserve Brantford's heritage and create a cultural centre for the community, The City of Brantford purchased the building for $425,000 in 1986. A group of dedicated community volunteers spearheaded a highly successful fundraising campaign with support from the community and local businesses to restore the Capitol Theatre. Over several years, the theatre was re-born with an authentically restored auditorium and improved services for guests and performers.
During the restoration work, the theatre was renamed the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts in tribute to the memory of the Sanderson family. The Sanderson family were well-known supporters of the Sanderson Centre restoration and many other local causes.
The Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts is a proud recipient of the Prestigious “Theatre Preservation Award” presented by the League of Historic American Theatres.