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I just stopped by the Orchard Plaza theatre the other day and noticed they pulled down the Famous Players signage and put up Cineplex branding. It look like they updated the seating to reclining-style as well.
Here is the Google newspaper archive for the Vancouver Sun. The coverage is very spotty and ends around 1987 but it does feature the paper cover-to-cover.
They are all organized by decade and then by year.
Be prepared to lose a few hours as it’s quite interesting to see how many theatres there were back then and, unlike today, how few theatres showed the same movie.
Here is the link:
I walked by the Capitol 6 last week and noticed they had cleaned up the lobby considerably. They moved out all of the over-grown dead plants, the ATM machines etc.
With new owners, it looks like it won’t be too long before it meets the wrecking ball. It’s too bad.
At least there are contributors who were generous enough to share a wealth of photos that covers just about every square-inch of this building!
I think the best example of this architectural era that is still open for business is the Cineplex Kildonan in Winnipeg, which from the pictures I have seen looks very similar to the old Richmond Centre 6.
They have re-branded it as Cineplex but the rest of it still looks intact…for now.
Station Square Famous Players was a good example too but I would have to respectfully disagree that it was the best example. Built in 1988, it was an earlier model that, I think, they improved upon in the following years.
Richmond Centre 6 had the high (24 foot?) ceilings that allowed the designers to install those tall, art-deco inspired neon entrance ways.
Sure, it wasn’t the “Stanley” on Granville but for a shopping mall multiplex theatre it was much better designed and thought-out than it probably needed to be.
I haven’t seen the interior of the Famous Players Prince George, but I imagine it may look very similar to Richmond Centre.
Unfortunately these were the last of the more elegant designs which eventually paved-way for the bloated, juvenile-inspired, kiddie-park designs that were Silver City.
It’s hard to believe that huge films such “The Empire Strikes Back” used to open up on just one screen in a city as big as Vancouver.
Joe’s Apartment has now become “The Studio” once again! The new owners have opened The Studio Records which is a night club/record store that lovingly recreates the original “Studio” neon sign.
It’s still not a movie theatre but it adds some much needed retro-style neon to the Granville strip.
I agree these were great-looking theatres they built the late 1980s, early 1990s.
The Richmond Centre 6 was probably the best local example with its elaborate use of neon signage and grand entrances to each cinema. It was demolished and replaced with a food court back in 2011.
Along with the Esplanade, the only other ones remaining that I know of are one in Kelowna, Prince Rupert and the Kildonan in Winnipeg.
Thanks for posting all those pictures, it’s great to have an extensive photographic record of this theatre.
I really like the glass and brick architecture of this particular theatre that was very unique and different than any other multiplex theatre I’ve seen.
The current Silvercity brand theatres all use the same dull blueprint designs right across the country.
Here is the Global link to the water damage story:
The Granville 7 just suffered extensive water damage caused from metal thieves who stripped out the wiring and broke a water pipe in the process.
I walked by the Capitol 6 the other day and peered in the window. Oddly enough, the place looked completely intact as if it was just closed for the evening.
The ATM and ticket machines were even still in place.
The only sign it was closed were all the dead leaves from the plants that were left to die in the lobby.
Usually these theatres are completely stripped clean within just a couple of days of closing.
Does anyone know if Landmark is planning any remodeling?
I guess at this stage of the game it’s not worth plugging a lot of money into an old-school theatre.
It looks like Landmark Cinemas has now taken over the Esplanade 6 from Empire.
rl_83, I stand corrected. I looked up some old Vancouver Sun microfilms from 1991 and The Stanley did close in September.
I guess my memory isn’t what it used to be…
The sale to Cineplex sounded a bit odd to me as well. Cineplex is a big fish that builds stadium-seat megaplexes, why would they want to sink money into 2 outdated theatres that run art films?
My guess is they will run them for a short period of time and then close them, striking two more theatres off their list of competitors. The properties are in good locations ripe for retail/condo development.
Cineplex is also building a huge megaplex at the foot of Cambie street along the Canada Line Skytrain which is easily accessible to the surrounding neighbourhood of the Park theatre.
I guess we’ll see what develops.
Leonard Schein and Tom Lightburn, owners of the Park and the 5th Avenue Cinemas, have announced they have sold both theatres to Cineplex. The sale will be completed in March.
Leonard Schein and Tom Lightburn, owners of the Park and Festival Cinemas, have announced they have sold both theatres to Cineplex. The sale will be completed in March 2013.
Here is a link for a terrific website showing the dismantling of the Granville Seven.
WARNING: The following pictures contain graphic images that will offend anyone who loved this theatre.
Here is an article about the removal of the ironic Paramount sign.
I read that this theatre is slated to close any time now.
There has been an explosion of re-development in this area of town and this property is to be demolished and
turned into mixed condo/retail.
Unfortunately this theatre is slated to close, once again, at the end of September, 2012. Rumor is it will be home to a new Dollarama store. Pretty sad.
One of the very few theatres in BC that still have the Famous Players branding, which have been slowly changed to Cineplex.
The “Famous Players” lettering has been removed from the building as they are gradually rebranding it to Cineplex.
It will be sad when they finally phase out “Famous Players” as the name has been a film staple across Canada since the 1920s.
I still remember going to this theatre on its opening night. They rented a pair of powerful spotlights which waved back and forth in the air.
The opening films were The Naked Gun and Twins.
The theatre was the best deal in town. They ran three movies and charged $2.50 which allowed you to see all three movies plus you could see two of the movies a second time if you wanted.