The Heritage Theatre itself was built in 1922 and opened on February 28, 1923 as the Capitol Theatre. The Capitol Theatre was used for the presentation of vaudeville acts and silent films. The opening of a commercial theatre in the heart of Downtown Brampton was a major event that marked Brampton’s growth as a residential community. In the 1920’s, a theatre of this size was considered to be large and was not typically found outside major cities.
The vaudeville and silent film era came to an end in Brampton when the Odeon Corporation purchased the Capitol theatre in 1946. The original orchestra pit was removed and new technical upgrades were made for the projection of “taking films”.
The theatre was purchased by the City of Brampton in 1981 from the Odeon Corporation. It opened as the Heritage Theatre in 1988 and was used as a municipal theatre for professional presenting and community cultural rentals. The theatre has been unoccupied and under review since 2006.
The building immediately adjacent to the Heritage Theatre is also unoccupied and is essentially an annex to the theatre. The two remaining buildings in the Block are currently occupied by the Brampton Downtown Business Development Corporation and by Beaux Arts Brampton.
The Heritage Block is located on a former flood plain. The Etobicoke Creek originally ran nearby under Main Street and opened onto Hanna Street (now Theatre Lane). The Capitol Theatre (82 Main Street North) and the Robson Block (70-74 Main Street North) survived several floods, including the historic flood of 1948.