965 Granville Street

This 1916 Vancouver Public Library image shows the Dominion Theatre. The marquee says it was showing ‘Notorious Gallagher – a 1916 American silent drama film directed by William Nigh and starring Nigh, Marguerite Snow and Robert Elliott. Nigh also wrote and produced the movie for Columbia Pictures, but the plot seems to have been lost to history.

The building however, is still with us: having just received its latest makeover to reopen as the Colony Room bar, having previously been the Caprice nightclub. The building was designed by Parr and Fee, who probably designed a majority of the buildings in this part of the city. E J Ryan built the $50,000 building, which was only really a single storey space despite the second floor windows. It was built of reinforced concrete & brick, and the Daily World were probably going beyond accuracy by describing it as “one or the finest moving picture houses in America” The newspaper promised “one of the most costly mosaic fronts will adorn the street entrance with a large overhanging colored prism”, but we have lost that as well as the ornate pediment.

The theatre added sound, and then colour, and Ivan Ackery, who would later run the Orpheum, was manager in the 1930s. It became the Downtown Theatre in 1967, then the Caprice Showcase Theatre, closing as a cinema in 1988 but retaining the name in its new incarnation as the Caprice Nightclub.

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Posted January 30, 2020 by ChangingCity in Downtown, Still Standing

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