Designation Date: March 28, 2006
Completed in 1906, the Roxy Theatre, one of the oldest theatrical venues in Manitoba, is an excellent example of an entertainment facility adapted over time to serve a changing marketplace. Classically reserved in its original form and intended for live performances, such as vaudeville, dramas, concerts, lectures and political rallies, the Neepawa building now wears a distinctive Art Deco front, part of its 1936 recasting, outside and in, as a sleek, technologically up-to-date motion picture theatre. This conversion occurred during the tenure of Leon Asper, a pioneer owner-operator of movie houses in southern Manitoba, and patriarch of a family that has become prominent internationally in the media industry. The Art Deco design was an early project for one of Manitoba’s most important modern architectural firms, Green, Blankstein and Russell (GBR), which made a name for itself with International-style projects in the 1960s. Situated on a commercial street, the still-functional Roxy is a local landmark recalling the variety of popular entertainment options and public events that have enriched community life for a century.