McPherson Playhouse

Exterior Colours for the McPherson Playhouse:
Recreating the architectural intent of the Pantages Theatre through Colour

This project was to determine the original colours for the McPherson Playhouse, which started out as the Pantages Theatre, a vaudeville house in 1914. The style had been determined by the then-new Victoria Opera House (now the Royal Theatre) built a few years earlier.

Stuart Stark determined, through research, sampling and colour analysis, that the McPherson playhouse was designed in a similarly classic style to the Opera House. Though a less expensive building on the exterior, using sheet metal ornamentation, instead of the more costly glazed terra-cotta decoration of the Opera House, the architects achieved a very similar look through colour.

In the restoration of the original colours of the building, the sheet metal decoration was painted in creamy tones to give the appearance of a richer glazed terra-cotta finish. The iron railings were repainted in a verdi-gris colour that would have simulated a bronze railing, which is an appropriate decorative material for a brick and ‘terra-cotta’ building.

Once again, the McPherson Playhouse regained its original architectural intent as planned during its construction in 1914.