Save the York Theatre

From the Save the York Theatre Society

A group of community members who are interested in saving and restoring the York Theatre met at City Hall on December 6, 2007 with the new owner of the York Theatre and a number of representatives from the Planning Department, Cultural Affairs, and Heritage Group for the City of Vancouver.

The History and Vision for the York Theatre tells the story of why the York Theatre should be saved and restored.

It was clear from this meeting that the new owner and developer, Paul Phillips of Edge Homes, has no interest in preserving the theatre. During the city strike, he was led to believe there would be no opposition to the demolition of the theatre and a townhouse development.

It is now clear that there is considerable support from the community for restoring and maintaining the theatre from the many letters and emails members of the community wrote to City Council. Our work is not over. The developer has a vested interest in this property and every day that goes by costs him money.

It is urgent that we communicate our desire to preserve this cultural facility and to act quickly to find a solution that will work for the developer and the community.

Recently we lost the historic Imperial Theatre, most recently known as the Venus Theatre, on Main at Union Street. Though rundown in recent years, this was still a restorable and usable purpose-built theatre, discovered to be in excellent condition once the demolition started. It opened in 1912 with a performance of Il Trovatore.

Also lost recently is the lovely art deco turret building at Georgia and Richards, formerly used as the Fido display and sales centre. We must stop this demolition of our architectural and cultural heritage.

The Opportunity to Save The York Theatre

Buy the York Theatre. The contribution is clear. The risk of losing any capital invested is low. Financing can be arranged to make costs tax deductible. The community will appreciate the contribution, and the opportunity is open to be part of the creative team. It could be an individual, a foundation, a business, or a community organization like the Coal Harbour Society, or a cooperative of contributors.

Tom Durrie
Save the York Theatre Society

Contributors to the Save the York Theatre Society

Clifford Cox, Dr. Stephen Drance, Tom Durrie, David Galpin, Christopher Gaze, Spencer Massie, Heather Redfern, José Verstappen