Category Archives: theatre/vaudeville/cinemas

Franklin Hall

I was recently browsing through a Vancouver newspaper which was new to me: The Greater Vancouver Chinook. The Chinook seems to have run from 1912-15, then briefly (1915-16) as the Saturday Chinook, and still later as The Standard (1916 and … Continue reading

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English Bay Theatre

Players When I happened upon the photo shown above in CVA’s collection I said to myself, “That looks like a theatrical company in costume for Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado!” I could find no mention in local newspapers in 1912 for any … Continue reading

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Where W.E.C. Shopped?

Updated October, 2016 This image appears to have been made sometime in the 1970s; right around the same period when the hapless Wile E. Coyote was entertaining fantasies of terrorizing the nameless Roadrunner using machines built from products made by Acme. The company portrayed in the image, … Continue reading

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Canada’s First Drive-In Theatre

The Cascade Drive-In in Burnaby was B.C.’s and Canada’s first drive-in theatre. It was started by George and William Steel and Joe and Art Johnson (Steel-Johnson Amusements, Ltd.) in 1946, opening in August of that year. The theatre was built along Grandview … Continue reading

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Fairview/Roxy Theatre

There isn’t much known about the Fairview Theatre (1912-38), later called the Roxy Theatre (1939-55?). In fact, I have never before seen a photograph of the theatre. According to the building permit for the Fairview (which appears in the permit database … Continue reading

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1936 Commissioned Image of Granville

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 … Continue reading

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Happiness Cafe and Neighbours

I love this Walter Frost image for several reasons. But my three principal reasons appear below. First of all it shows a city block that was on the cusp of huge change. Within a few years of the making of this photo, this … Continue reading

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A. A. McWhinnie Wine & Spirit Merchant (Briefly)

Judging from city directories, it seems that A. A. McWhinnie may have been a wine/spirit merchant for a year; perhaps less. By 1902, the space and the liquor business was in the name of the Urquhart Brothers – apparently the … Continue reading

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Concert Pianist, Conductor, Theatre Manager…

Maynard Joiner lived a long and fruitful life. He was born on one coast of North America (in Boston) in 1894 and died on another (in Vancouver) in 1990. By the time he was 10, he was considered a child prodigy. His forté was as … Continue reading

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The Gifted Mr. Bradbury

A real pleasure for me in this photo-historical adventure I’ve called VanAsItWas is in discovering and re-discovering crisp, well-exposed images that speak of an attention to detail and a real concern (whether consciously or not) for issues that would ultimately be … Continue reading

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Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company in Vancouver

The troupe appearing above was one of the touring groups of the Australian theatre troupe known as Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company. The company was made up of actors under 14 years of age, and most of them were female. They specialized in offering comic/light operas … Continue reading

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The World

There seem not to be any photos on the VPL or CVA websites that show “The World” after-hours club. Although the club appears  to have endured for a number of years, I haven’t been able to track down the year it was … Continue reading

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The Workingman’s Store

This is an image from the City of Vancouver Archives which I hadn’t noticed before. It is most interesting. First, it is worth getting oriented. We are looking north on Main Street and Stuart Thomson, the photographer, is standing with … Continue reading

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Strand Theatre

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600 Block Granville

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Three Views of the Casa Loma Cafe

  CVA 1184-3262. Cafe Casa Loma, 1940-48. Jack Lindsay photo. Note: This image has been cropped and otherwise edited. To see original image, go to CVA,)

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A ‘Tent’ for French

The building under construction in the photo above is what would be the setting of evangelistic meetings from May – July, 1917. The structure was known as the Evangelistic Tabernacle and was located on what was formerly the site of … Continue reading

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A Few of my Favourite Junk Yards

I confess to a longstanding fondness for junk yards; well, actually it is more accurate to say that I harbour a fondness for the idea of junk yards. This is a holdover, I think, from my pre-teen enchantment with The Three Investigators … Continue reading

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Fred Hartsook Photo

The portrait shown above is of vaudeville (and later motion picture) actor, Broderick O’Farrell. Not very much appears to be known today of Mr. O’Farrell except the little that may be found here. (Could he have been anything but an … Continue reading

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Electric Vaudeville

The building pictured above at the corner of Main Street and what was then the eastern end of the Georgia Viaduct is what was once a centre of Vancouver vaudeville, the Avenue Theatre building. The Avenue was a little off the beaten … Continue reading

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