About Us

 Allan and Micheal

Who are we?

We are:  "Save The LaSalle".  A non - profit corporation created to acquire, preserve, restore, and operate the LaSalle Theatre, in Kirkland Lake Ontario.

Who is behind "Save The LaSalle"?

Allan Powell - born in Kirkland Lake, and raised in Northern Ontario,  and Michael Rawley - Friends since the day they met in theatre school at the University of Windsor in 1975.  

Allan used his theatre degree to pursue a career as a litigation lawyer.  Allan currently lives with his wife and daughter in Toronto, but Kirkland Lake and the LaSalle theatre have always been near and dear to him.

Michael remained in the theatre business and enjoys a successful career as a stage actor – and a writer, director and producer - across Canada and the U.S.  

Michael and Allan have now joined forces to work towards the revitalization and re-opening of the LaSalle Theatre in Kirkland Lake.  Allan’s role will be ‘Executive Producer’ while Michael will be stepping into the shoes of  “Theatre Manager” and “Artistic Director”.  

In Allan's own words:

"I have always loved the LaSalle Theatre.    

From Friday night double features at the LaSalle with my Dad, to more recent visits with my daughter to see “Pirates of the Caribbean”, the LaSalle has always been my favorite movie destination.  

I have always been grateful that the LaSalle has survived as an intact and operational theatre.  I remain grateful for the dedication of the Kaplan family, followed by Wendy Sadoquis and finally Robert Kasner.   It was with considerable sadness that I arrived in Kirkland Lake last winter – looking forward to whatever the LaSalle might have to offer – only to find that the times, and economics, had finally taken their toll.  

You may wonder who I am, and why I would presume to take on the ownership of the LaSalle.

My grandfather, Ernest H. Powell, was the first music teacher at KLCVI.  My Dad (David D. Powell) grew up in Kirkland Lake – and began his teaching career in Swastika.  I was born in Kirkland Lake - but we moved away when I was quite young. However, we maintained our cottage at Round Lake and so I grew up visiting Kirkland Lake, and its theatres, every summer of my childhood. Later, as an adult, I continued with regular visits to our cottage – and the LaSalle. 

Although I didn't technically 'grow up' in Kirkland Lake, I consider that I am from Kirkland Lake.  

I spent most of my growing up years in Cochrane.  After high school I trained to become an actor and I obtained a BFA in theatre in 1979 from the University of Windsor.  While I was still a student at university I spent my evenings apprenticing to become a movie projectionist – which was a ‘skilled trade’ at that time.  Once I received my ‘operator’s license’ my job as a ‘relief projectionist’ at most of the theatres in Windsor, and later in Toronto, paid my way through university and  law school.  

I always intended to be a producer of live theatre – I felt that a law degree, combined with a theatre degree, would make a perfect background for theatre production.  Instead I discovered that acting – and courtroom drama – were a good combination and I have now been a litigation lawyer for over 25 years.

But – I always said I would somehow again become involved in theatre production.   Little did I suspect that this goal would lead me back to the LaSalle.  

Over the next few months I am looking forward to networking with friends, and new friends in Kirkland Lake.  Michael and I are working on a business plan for the revitalization and re-opening of the LaSalle Theatre. 

And working with Allan, allow me to introduce Michael Rawley

In Micheals' own words:

"At the same time as Allan’s grandfather was the music teacher at KLCVI, my grandfather Ernest Rawley was the General Manager of Toronto’s Edwardian jewel box The Royal Alexandra Theatre. You might say the theatre is in my blood – or, at least, my genetics. I can remember going to The Royal from the time I was very little and I always knew that the theatre was my home. I was blessed to have that connection and knowledge at such a young age.

I have been a theatre artist my entire life – doing everything from acting to producing to directing, writing, musical directing and choreographing as well as running my own theatre company.

I have acted all across Canada and the USA and my theatre company toured to Poland and Ukraine at the invitation of the Canadian Government as a totally sanctioned cultural event.

So, to answer my ‘who I am and why I would presume to take on the Lasalle’, I think the above answers the former question and here is my answer to the latter question:

Because The Lasalle needs to be saved.

And it CAN be saved.

As theatre artists, we make theatre. With The Lasalle, I have the opportunity to, not only make theatre, but to also make A theatre. 

I had the honour and privilege to tour this cold darkened quiet building in February 2013. I was sold. It is a gorgeous structure with a stunning aesthetic and it remains, thankfully, intact. I could tell, even by the light of my cell phone, what it must’ve looked like on the day it opened in 1939.

Too many theatres these days, or other kinds of buildings for that matter, are thought of as disposable. The Lasalle is an Art Deco gem and a rarity in Canadian theatres. There were few theatres built in that distinctive
style and none remaining. Not to mention that The Lasalle is the only theatre standing in KL today.

This is about as exciting as it gets – to be able to help breath life back into this amazing building and allow it to live again – filled with people and filled with theatre, movies and art."