Louvre Hotel and Bijou Theatre – Carrall Street

Louvre & Bijou

We have already see the Louvre Hotel very soon after its construction in 1889. A section of the Louvre was lost in 1940 when the adjacent Bijou Theatre was demolished. Here’s the Bijou and the Louvre in 1909. As well as the Louvre Hotel and Cafe there was a combination business at 329 1/2 Carrall Street – Anderson and Nelson, tobacconist & barber.

The Bijou in this picture was actually a conversion of an earlier building whose architect is unknown. It seems to date from 1896 when it appears to be home to Langley and Co who were wholesale druggists. In 1899 it was the English Chop House and in 1901 it appears to have been vacant with the upper floor occupied by Nora, the widow of G A Biers. It was the Strangers’ Rest Coffee House in 1904. In 1906 and 1907 it was listed as furnished rooms and the first mention of the theatre is in 1908. In 1909 (when the picture was taken) the proprietors of the theatre were Hoar Hermann & Sharratt – Charles Hermann and Harold T Sharratt ran the theatre, and Hoar was probably Harvey E Hoar who also managed the Rose Theatre which showed moving pictures at 126 East Hastings.  Mrs Charles C Pyle was cashier of the theatre.

At the Louvre, John Gaedres was proprietor, Carl Asback, Norman Cameron and Edward Harff were bartenders, Norman Gaedres ran the cafe (and lived upstairs) and Robert Inman was the cook. A published source says Al Principe ran his barber’s shop from the Bijou, but it looks as if it was part of the Louvre in 1909.

In 1913 a new theatre was built, designed by Donnellan and Stroud (although only James Donnellan’s name appears on the Building Permit. That’s almost certainly the building seen in the this 1940 image, just before it was demolished. In 1913 William P Nicholls was the proprietor, Walter Buchanan the doorman, Mrs Sam Driscoll the cashier, Arthur Gildner and Lewis M Potter wer the operators (presumably the projectionist), Ethel Copeland and Olive Beaton the musicians and Percy Anderson the usher.  Two years later the operation was much smaller; P Willis was the proprietor and William Scott the operator.


Bijou Theatre, 333 Carrall  1913 CVA LGN 995It doesn’t look much here, but for a while it was quite something, as this night shot taken around 1913 shows, with the brilliant illumination of the facade advertising the 5c admission. It looks as if part of the Louvre was incorporated into the new theatre (which is why there’s less of the Louvre today than when it was built). It also looks like the barber’s shop was now in the theatre, rather than in the hotel.

In 1918 Walter Anderson is the proprietor of the Bijou, but by 1919 the cinema use had gone. Morris Zlotnic seems to have his jewellers shop at 333 Carrall, but somewhere around this period the street numbers appear to have been reassigned. Up to now the Bijou was always 333 Carrall. In 1919 William Anderson us running a shooting gallery at 317 Carrall, which seems a very likely use for a former cinema, but less likely for any other space. There’s still a shooting gallery in 1922.

Image sources: Vancouver Public Library, City of Vancouver Archives CVA 447-393,  LGN 995


Posted 23 March 2013 by ChangingCity in East End, Gone

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