5 Interesting Facts You Never Knew About The Rose Theatre
When people think of Brampton, they don’t necessarily think of its thriving -- and growing -- arts and culture scene.
But they should.
The Rose Theatre is a stunning structure located at Main and Queen in the heart of downtown Brampton. The theatre has now been open for almost 12 years, since 2006, and it attracts thousands of visitors every year with an abundance of different kinds of events and performances. Comedians, orchestras, local Brampton talent and beyond have taken The Rose Theatre’s stage, and there is much more lined up for this year.
Without further adieu, here are some interesting facts about The Rose Theatre that you probably never knew, in no particular order.
All facts courtesy of The Rose Theatre
5) The entire structure boasts materials from all around the world
Wood veneers from Africa, limestone from Canada, sandstone from England, onyx from Pakistan, and quartzite from Sweden — The Rose Theatre contains a pretty diverse range of materials that make it shine as the icon it is today. It’s built in a horseshoe shape, taken from a book of Shakesperian designs, to reduce sightline issues and make sure every performance the venue itself feel intimate.
Here’s something really incredible — most of the red wood inside the theatre (except the handrails and armrests) comes from just two red wood trees in Africa, which were shaved down to an eighth of an inch of veneer and applied to all of the wood surfaces in the building. All of the grains of wood have gone through “bookending” which means they run the same way to look aesthetically pleasing.
4) It’s built to eliminate every single external noise
With a “skin” of suspended acoustic isolators covering the building’s exterior to create a barrier from external vibrations, 3500 vibration isolators cushioning the furnace and air conditioning, and the building sitting on 560 rubber pads to tune out street noise and sounds from the nearby train tracks, The Rose Theatre aims to give everyone the best possible listening experience.
Bonus fun fact with this one: the furthest seat in the house is only 60 feet from the stage to ensure you can hear and see the shows!
3) The Rose was a popular comedian’s last stop on his final Canadian tour — ever
Back in 2007, The Rose Theatre hosted comedian George Carlin for what would be his last Canadian show ever. Carlin was a pretty influential American comedian, author, actor, and social critic, popular for his black comedy and political opinions, who had been performing since the 1960s. You might have even seen him in popular comedic films like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, its sequel Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Scary Movie 3. Carlin’s very last Canadian show was indeed on The Rose Theatre stage before he died in 2008 of heart failure, aged 71.
2) There’s a “vomitorium” in the theatre
And it has nothing to do with what you’re thinking! A “vomitorium” — or “the vom” for short — is actually just a passageway. This passageway is typically below or behind a tier of seats and is used for audiences to enter and exit the auditorium as quickly as possible. Over in Rome, the Coliseum itself has a whopping 80 vomitoriums that allowed something like 50,000 people to exit in just 15 minutes.
So, why is it called a “vomitorium”? Well, the word comes from the Latin “vomere” which means to vomit or spew forth — you could say it “spews forth” many people at once. Tell your friends!
1) The stage is never empty
That’s right, even when nothing is happening on stage, the mainstage at The Rose Theatre is absolutely never left bare. In the world of theatre, it’s bad luck — as many things are — to leave the stage empty! So, even when there are no musicals or comedians on stage and audiences are long gone, there is always something onstage, whether it’s a broom, a single light, or anything else. Here’s another fun fact: the stage is free-standing — there is a small gap between the stage floor and the wall. And, speaking of bad luck, please don’t say “Macbeth” in the theatre…that’s just bad manners.
Bonus: There’s a very good reason why it’s called “The Rose”
You know that Brampton’s called the Flower City, right?
Brampton’s special name comes from the 1800s when Brampton was full of greenhouses, and over 48 nurseries for businesses growing flowers. The largest was the Dale Estate, which boasted 140 greenhouses at its peak, the famous Dale Autographed Roses (the finest roses were autographed on every single petal with the name “Dale”) and over 500,000 orchids. In fact, the Dale Estate was the largest cut flower business on the continent and the third largest in the world, producing over 20 million blooms.
The quality and prestige of their roses was a major highlight, so the name “The Rose” pays homage to our roots. And, according to The Rose, every plant inside the theatre is real.
Cover photo courtesy of The Rose Theatre