A fourth generation family run theatre serving Muskoka for over 90 years. Presenting first run movies in a vintage building. Contemporary visual, sound and seating in climate controlled comfort. Open year round. For 24 hour movie info call 705-645-2333 or visit us @ norwoodtheatre.com
The Giaschi Family History In Cinema
The Giaschi family has been in the movie exhibition business for over ninety years. Joseph Giaschi built his first theatre The King George in Huntsville in 1926.
Joseph operated it successfully for twenty years with the aid of his two sons Andrew and Frank. In 1937 he operated the Strand Theatre at 75 Manitoba Street in Bracebridge. In 1939 Mr. Giaschi added to his list the Port Colborne theatre with a seating capacity of 1000. In the late 1940’s Joseph with his sons started construction of two new theatres. The Capitol in Huntsville with a seating capacity of 750 was opened on November 2nd, 1948. The original King George he eventually converted into a bowling alley.
On Tuesday July 19th, 1949 The Norwood in Bracebridge opened with Little Women to a capacity crowd. The Strand Theatre was then closed. Recently the Strand Theatre building under went a major renovation bringing the façade back to its early theatre days. Currently it is operated as a retail store.
After Mr. Giaschi's death one of his sons Frank operated The Capitol in Huntsville. In the late seventies it was sold to The Stinson Company from Barrie Ontario. In December of 2008 Gina Giaschi Mitchell and Brian Mitchell purchased the Capitol, thus bringing the Capitol and the Norwood together again.
His other son Andrew owned and operated the Norwood until his death in the mid 60’s. In 1965 one of Andrews’s two sons Larry Giaschi with his wife Marion and six young children purchased The Norwood Theatre in Bracebridge. He soon built a restaurant called Norwood Place next door to the theatre. This was his vision of dinner and a movie for Bracebridge. In the 70’s Larry purchased The Muskoka Theatre in Gravenhurst. He ran it until it closed in the early 90’s.
In the Late 70's Larry converted The Norwood into a two-screen theatre. In 1994 he converted the restaurant by adding an addition creating a third screen. Thus, the Norwood Cinema Three name appeared on the Marquee.
Gina Giaschi Mitchell and Brian Mitchell Purchase The Norwood
Prior to Larry’s death in 2001 one of his daughters Gina Giaschi Mitchell and her husband Brian Mitchell purchased The Norwood. With their purchase the Giaschi name is now in its fourth generation of family business.
In 2002 Gina and Brian began updating the three theatres with new technology on the projectors, new screens, new sound systems and new seating. The Marquee was as well rebuilt to today’s standards yet keeping with its original design. In 2002 a private not for profit film group called Spinning Reels was formed. Since opening night at The Norwood they have successfully presented “Movies with a Difference” every month.
The Norwood is recognized as a first run opening movie exhibitor by all major studios. The Norwood has been chosen by various studios for advance screenings of movies such as Hairspray, The Incredible Hulk and Magic Mike bringing to Muskoka their top international executives along with invited industry guests.
In April 2012 The Norwood began the transition of converting 35mm film equipment to Christie digital cinema projectors. The units chosen feature Academy Award winning DLP Cinema® technology. In addition we have been intergrading Dolby CP750 Digital Cinema Processors with Dolby Digital 7.1, Dolby Digital Surround EX™, Dolby Pro Logic®, and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding to deliver the best in surround sound before and during the show from all content. The first digital movie presented was American Reunion on April 6th, 2012. The last 35mm movie shown was Draft Day on April 24th, 2014.
For over 65 years The Norwood continues to welcome our own communities, our seasonal cottagers who come home to Muskoka from near and afar. Our patrons as well have been coming here for generations to share in the history of a family tradition.