Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Lights at The Hollywood are Dimming

For movie lovers in the lower mainland this has to be one of the saddest weekends to remember.
Being a part of the history of Vancouver it is sad to see it go.

On Oct. 24, 1935, which was Thanksgiving Day, moviegoers flocked to Vancouver’s newest cinema to watch a program featuring shorts and two features – Lightning Strikes Twice, a comedy starring Ben Lyon and Thelma Todd, and Life Begins at Forty, featuring the humorist Will Rogers as an easygoing newspaper publisher battling heartless bankers, undoubtedly a popular storyline for Depression audiences. (The beloved Rogers had died in a plane wreck in Alaska two months earlier.)
Tickets cost 10 cents, with another nickel charged to sit in the balcony.( Tom Hawthorn---The Globe & Mail Dec 7 2010)

The front Box office of the Hollywood Theatre

My love for The Hollywood Theatre came in 1988 when my sister and my mother had moved from Kelowna to Vancouver(Point Grey).
I had come down two weeks earlier to paint the house, being at the house alone I ventured out and upon my half hour walk down Broadway street, there it was.
At the ticket booth was  a solitary piece of paper nothing special just a piece of paper that had the movies and the show times.
Now what caught my eye were the prices(at the time)were $2.50 on Mondays, not knowing that it was for both films I left the theatre went back outside to the front booth and proceeded to pay again "Oh no sir" she said "The price is for both films" shocked and amazed I went back in to enjoy the 2nd film.
The concession stand amazed me as they had all the regular things you would find at any theatre, the difference? Nanimo Bars & Coffee?? are you serious they had other pastries and the like as well.The line up was long for the food and my bladder would not make it to the next

off to the washroom I went, well this was the only downfall but its a washroom right?what else you want from a washroom?

Richard and David Fairleigh, the Late owners of the Hollywood

I never met Richard however I did meet David weekly as I attended constantly.He was the doorman every night, always had a smile for his customers.

The doors to the downstairs floor

This picture shows the great theatre seats and the balcony(where I always sat, right in the middle--at the front)

This is the view from the Balcony

Do I recall the films I saw my first time there? no however I do remember some of the double showings I attended.

Young Guns would be the show at 7 pm and followed by Die Hard
Home Alone then Guilty by Suspicion
also the movie I fell in love with Cinema Paradiso that I would see on the opening night there and go to see it again on the following Sunday as they changed their lineup every Monday.
Cinema Paradiso will be the film to end off this weekend of films shown and what a great way to go out, that movie still touches my heart.

current owner:Vince Fairleigh his family were the original owners

These next photos are just an idea as to what the theatre brought to the community, I would like to personally thank all of the Fairleigh Family and their staff for all the memories I was given by this great theatre, sad to see it go.

David Fairleigh & his son Vince


Thanks for reading this
Anthony Nadeau

Reader: Do you have any memories of the Hollywood Theatre??let me know


Anonymous said...

Thank you Anthony for the great blog and pictures. What a great tribute. -Maggie P

Suvarna said...

so sad to see it go, I have many fond memories of watching unique and interseting films there.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I would like to make sure that the Hollywood stay a movie theatre (not a stupid expensive condo) and would like to start a petition for the city to buy it back. Maybe we can help and raise funds, find donators etc... Who would be interested to participate in such action?