British Columbia

Deal to protect Hollywood Theatre heads to public hearing in Vancouver

A plan to designate Kitsilano’s beloved Hollywood Theatre as a heritage building and spare it from the wrecking ball goes before a public hearing Tuesday evening.

Proposed plan would preserve theatre, allow 6-storey building next door

The Hollywood Theatre was sold to a developer in 2011. (Catherine Rolfsen)

A plan to designate Kitsilano's beloved Hollywood Theatre as a heritage building and spare it from the wrecking ball goes before a public hearing Tuesday evening.

The proposal would add the building's Art Deco exterior and parts of the interior to the city's heritage "B" list and allow for a six-storey mixed-use building next door. It would also ensure the Hollywood could only be used as a theatre.

The Hollywood was designed by architect Harold Cullerne, the man behind the very first PNE prize home. It opened in 1935 and was operated by the Fairleigh family until 2011, when it was sold to Bonnis Properties.

At the time, the developer planned to construct a two-storey fitness facility on the site.

With the current zoning in place, a developer could tear down the theatre and build something new without the approval of council.

In return for the restrictions on demolition, the proposed deal would allow greater density — a floor area of 53,500 square feet, up from 50,252.

An artist's rendering shows a proposed six-storey development next to the Hollywood Theatre, at right. (City of Vancouver)

According to a staff report, the theatre is still in "excellent condition." The developer plans to install new washrooms using the original fixtures and to upgrade the lobby.

The theatre would be used as a performing arts centre, hosting musical performances, live theatre and movie screenings.

The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT.

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