365 Canadian Sights | Day 336: The Orpheum Theatre

Orpheum Theatre
| Image from Flickr/Colin Knowles via CC BY 2.0 |

The biggest theatre in Canada when it opened in 1927, it was much more than a barn with bench seating.

This is one of the few indoor sights on this list, and it should be obvious why. The Orpheum might be nearing it’s 100 anniversary, and while its aesthetics are from the time it was built, it looks amazing.

The detail and care that went into building and caring for the performance space must be applauded (anyone know a fitting place for applause?). From the stonework to the lighting to the overall design of it, it’s marvellous. A lot of that has to do with a careful renovation and restoration in the 1970s.

It almost wasn’t saved, though; while it was turned into a movie theatre it never was really set up that way. At one point the company that ran it wanted to gut it to make it a multiplex, meaning all that work on the interior would have been trucked to the dump.

Luckily there was an outcry and the space was saved and bought by the city.

The address might say Smithe Street, but this is a classic of the Granville Street drag; probably has the biggest sign, too. Since it’s right in the middle of Vancouver, driving isn’t a great option. transit and walking are much better unless you feel like paying for parking instead of lunch.

Oddly this is ranked 18 on things to do in Vancouver, which is odd because your interest in going will usually be dependent on what’s going on there. But congrats all the same, eh? It’s official site is here, as part of the Vanocuver theatre scene. For a bit more, check out this article, and there’s the historic site site

Photos • FeaturedGallery 1Gallery 2Gallery 3

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