Vancouver's iconic Hollywood Theatre facing redevelopment
Thousands signed online petition to save historic Kitsilano theatre
The City of Vancouver is considering a plan to redevelop Kitsilano's historic Hollywood Theatre as a fitness facility, despite opposition from thousands of fans of the iconic building.
More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition at Change.org asking for a 90-day moratorium on demolition or renovation permits for the 1935 building at 3123 West Broadway.
Meanwhile the city is still considering an application by Bonnis Properties to redevelop the aging landmark into a two-storey fitness facility. The former movie theatre is currently leased by a church
On Tuesday, Coun. Adriane Carr will put forward a motion to council, supporting the petitioners in the hope of saving the Hollywood.
"I think what people are saying is we have so few of these kinds of venues for community-based activities, and we have a lot of fitness centres," Carr says.
Carr says she wants to buy time, so advocates can sit down with the current owner to work out a "win-win deal."
Church at the Hollywood
Bonnis Properties bought the Hollywood in 2011, but left it empty for around a year before leasing it to the Point Grey Community Church in Sept. 2012.
Now known as the Church at the Hollywood, the group has also been allowing the venue to be used for occasional community or movie events, but their lease is up at the end of November.
Terry Martin with the Save the Hollywood Coalition, says it is a great place for live music, and serves a crucial niche as a community gathering space in Kitsilano.
"I think it's just a real shame that we keep losing heritage buildings in our city," said Martin.
Martin wants the city to offer incentives to the developer, to keep the Hollywood open as a community gathering space.
Bonnis Properties could not be reached for comment. Sunday services will continue while the church looks for new premises.
The Hollywood will also host one last movie series, screening Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You, on Nov. 20, 21 and 22 with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and Projection Project.