Final call for historic Vancouver theatre?
Published Thursday, October 23, 2008 5:22PM PDT
Charlie Chaplin performed there in 1912, when he was a little known song and dance man.
But for the first time in years, there are for sale signs up at one of western Canada's oldest theatres, the Pantages near Hastings and Main in downtown Vancouver.
The 100-year-old venue could soon be sold and demolished, meaning a significant part of Vancouver's history would be lost.
It was only last April, that the Pantages Theatre Arts Society staged the first live performances in over three decades. The aim was to restore the theatre to its former glory as a cultural and economic anchor for Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
"We've been negotiating for three years with various levels of government and the city to come up with a formula that would restore the theatre without any cost to anybody,'' said Peter Fairchild of the Pantages Theatre Arts Society.
But even though the owner says it can't afford any further delays, the city wants more time to study the $26-million restoration plan that would be funded by governments at a number of levels.
If the property is sold, Fairchild says he presumes that the any rebuilding plan will disappear and what remains of the theatre will be lost for good.
With a report by CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger