Alberta Mirror

Edmonton’s iconic Roxy Theatre reopens seven years after a destructive fire


Key takeaways: 

  • The new structure features four areas to accommodate live performances.
  • Jill Roszell led members of the public to the downstairs black-box theatre in the new Roxy Theatre facility this weekend.

Almost seven years after the iconic Edmonton landmark burned to the floor, the Roxy Theatre is back open.

The public was asked to tour the latest $12-million building this weekend, and Jill Roszell, the business development director for Theatre Network, which holds and manages the Roxy, stated there was a lot of excitement. 

“We are delighted to be back here,” Roszell expressed.

The Roxy started as a film house in 1938 and was later transformed into a live performance venue in 1989.

When the fire hit in 2015, residents, including Bart Mielczarek, were surprised. 

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Almost seven years after the iconic Edmonton landmark burned to the floor, the Roxy Theatre is back open

Mielczarek, who stays nearby, said he recalls the Tuesday morning in January when the structure burned down. The emphasis on his block went out as he was attempting to prep breakfast for his children. 

“So then we went out, and we saw fire trucks and then flames and all that things,” Mielczarek stated. “When it burned down, it was like a large part [of the city] was missing.” 

For years after the fire, the lot on 124 Street sat vacantly. However, in 2019 work began to return the theatre to its ex recognition. In the end, the project took a little longer than anticipated.   

“We have run into the infamous supply chain problems, as you can guess, especially with a lot of our equipment,” Roszell stated. “But we are lucky that we’ve been able to get the theatres up and running.” 

While almost all of the old structure was destroyed in the fire, Roszell said they wanted to be sure to include some of the old with the new. 

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