The show will go on at the Hollywood Theatre

July 24 2018 Vancouver’s iconic Hollywood Theatre to be protected and reopened as part of a new development

"The Hollywood Theatre has been a vital part of Vancouver’s arts and culture community for many decades.” said Mayor Gregor Robertson

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Vancouver’s theatre scene is under the spotlight after a plan to save one of city’s original theatres was approved by City Council today. The plan preserves the Hollywood Theatre's legacy as a cinema and provides an important performance space, including a much needed live music venue, in the city.

"The Hollywood Theatre has been a vital part of Vancouver’s arts and culture community for many decades,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We need to ensure that Vancouverites get to enjoy the beloved Hollywood Theatre for generations to come.

Supporting the arts community

Council continues to boost support for our growing arts community, to create and preserve important cultural spaces, and make sure Vancouver is a city where creative people can put down roots and contribute to our long-term success and vibrancy."

Much-loved by the local community, the Art Deco-style Hollywood Theatre was built and opened on West Broadway in Kitsilano in 1935. The reopened Hollywood Theatre will be one of the few remaining mixed-use neighbourhood theatres in Vancouver.

A venue for everyone to enjoy

The space will have the ability to support local community producers, non-profit arts and cultural organizations, and special interest groups. The intent is to also host all-ages events, as well as special free-to-the public events produced by local producers.

“The Hollywood Theatre project team is pleased that we all found common ground to re-open The Hollywood Theatre as a facility dedicated to presenting multiple genres of art, including cinema, live music, community-use events and more. The neighbours, local business, entertainment business professionals  and arts groups are all to be commended for their absolute passion for this project, which is why we are a go!

We’d also like to acknowledge Cultural Services and our council for recognizing the importance of supporting multi-use cultural spaces for all Vancouverites to enjoy the arts”, says Sean Mawhinney and David Hawkes, the future Building And Operations Manager and General Manager-Booker-Producer respectively.

A protected heritage building

The theatre will live on through its designation as a protected heritage property and a Heritage Revitalization Agreement which secures conservation of the building and allows the owner to construct a new six-storey, mixed-used building on the balance of the site. Under the designation and agreement, the building will be protected from demolition and any alterations which affect its heritage value. As an incentive to the owner for the heritage designation, rehabilitation, and conservation of the theatre and for restricting it to theatre-use only, the agreement permits an increase in density and building height. The owner has also agreed to enter into a Community Use Agreement (CUA) to allow for community and non-profit use and access to the theatre.

Unique and original features

The Hollywood is nearly in its original condition and an excellent example of the Art Deco style with numerous features such as:

  • Hieroglyphic decorations
  • An undulating façade
  • Inset scrolled figures
  • Black and gold tiles
  • Original frameless glass ticket booth
  • Prominent marque and exterior signage

The interior contains many original and period features such as signage, doors, hardware, and wall coverings.

Making space for arts and culture

The decision to preserve the iconic space follows Council’s approval of a plan to secure, enhance and develop vibrant, affordable and accessible spaces across the city two weeks ago. The Making Space for Arts and Culture: 2018 Cultural Infrastructure Plan supports Vancouver’s creative and cultural sector by focusing on spaces where artists and creative workers can live, work, and share their work.

For more details, view the full list of recommendations approved in the Cultural Infrastructure Plan  (5.98 MB). The Plan supports Vancouver’s arts and cultural community in advance of the completion and Council’s approval of the Creative City Strategy.