Colonial Theatre

603 Granville Street,
Vancouver, BC V7Y

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Colonial Theatre

The Colonial Thetare opened on Granville Street 1915, on the site of the Kinecolour Theatre, an early motion picture theater opened in 1911. The Colonial Theatre sat 873 and operated as a first-run house for much of its existence.

The Colonial Theatre was closed in the mid-1960’s and was then used as a concert venue until around 1972 and demolished soon afterwards.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

MickeyM on January 22, 2008 at 6:56 am

Actually, the Colonial Theatre opened in 1915 under Hector Quagliotti as the owner. He bought the property in 1922 for $ 220,000 – the corner of Dunsmuir and Granville. He operated the Theatre up until his death in 1956 when he collapsed at work. After, his daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Doug MacKay-Dunn ran the Theatre up until the mid-1960’s when it was expropriated by the city for the block 42 development. The Theatre served as a venue for some bands, underground concerts up until the early 1970’s when it was eventually demolished.

dcarter on February 4, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I have very strong person memories of the Colonial. My grandfather regularly took me there in mid-late 1950s. He liked the old place for two reasons: (a) it had main floor level “box” seats that anyone could use – they were raised up perhaps a step or two and had more leg room – as well as a brass rail around them – they were on the right and left sides and each held about a dozen seats – he had a bad leg and liked to stretch it out, (b) next door there was a good candy shop where he could buy his much loved “Bridge Mixture” to munch (and share). I recall a painted mural inside the lobby and I wonder if it was of the horse racing scene from the silent movie Ben Hur (or do I have that confused with the Orpheum further up-town).

I am writing a personal history and searched and searched and then found your site with a good picture (of a post card) of the old place – and the image took me back because even in the early 50s there were street cars running on Granville Street – just as the picture shows.

Many thanks! Anyone know if it was a mural inside, and of what?

dashflyer on October 15, 2008 at 4:52 pm

The mural was apparently just before you entered the theater over the ticket window and it was of a chariot race with two teams of horses.

My grandfather owned one of the companies associated with the demolition. He saved the mural and it has been in our family since then – though at the moment I am not certain of it’s exact location.

kerrybabyxx on July 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

I used to go see Raveen at the Colonial,back in the Sixties,the last time I was there was in 1970 to see the horror flick,The Dunwich Horror…Love to see a picture,sorry to see it go.

CSWalczak on July 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm

This webpage has additional history about the theatre, with pictures: View link

CSWalczak on July 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm

This photo is from the City of Vancouver archives.

Jason Vanderhill
Jason Vanderhill on January 5, 2016 at 8:19 am

A detailed look at the theatre owner Hector Quagliotti-Romano is also provided here, in James Johnstone’s blog post:

It also includes an in depth spotlight from the Province Newspaper from March 17, 1972 looking back at the Colonial before it was demolished.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater