Crop of CVA 99-4856 – Looking up the east side of 600 block Granville St (roughly from the intersection with Dunsmuir). 1936 Stuart Thomson photo commissioned, according to the City Archives, by Travellers Insurance Co.
I very much enjoy the image above, made by one of my favourite local photographers, Stuart Thomson. I like the gentle blur of the strolling crowd. And I especially like the lady caught in profile looking into Saba Bros. Silk shop window. She appears to have been warming her hand with her breath, or perhaps covering her mouth due to an oncoming or just-finished cough or sneeze. I’m also pleased that the sign for the Lyric Theatre is just visible in the photo, far right in the background. That theatre was originally known as the Orpheum – not the first local theatre of that name, nor the last (today’s Orpheum
, for a number of years known as the “New Opheum” would move across to the east side of Granville, and a bit south, in 1927). The older Orheum would have its name changed to the Lyric around the time this photo was made. In the late 1940s, it had another name change, becoming the International Cinema. In 1960, it became part of the chain of Famous Players Theatres, with a final name change to the Vancouver Theatre, until meeting the wrecker’s ball a decade later as part of the City of Vancouver’s apparent determination to demolish anything of any historic value over two or three blocks so that Pacific Centre Mall could develop, unimpeded by the older buildings of our relatively recent past.
The image above, however, despite my love of it, has been cropped by me. The odd thing about Stuart Thomson’s original image, is that he included so much sidewalk in the foreground. The only explanation that makes any sense to me is the fact that this image was commissioned by the Travellers Insurance Co. Perhaps Thomson’s idea was that this image could be used as part of advertising copy, with text overlaying the foreground. But this is speculation.
Un-cropped version of the same image shown at the beginning of this post (CVA 99-4856).