Archive for the ‘Louvre Hotel’ Tag

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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The Louvre Hotel – Carrall Street

Here’s the Louvre Hotel as it looked in 1889 (the year it was built), and what’s left today. This somewhat anonymous building in the 300 block of Carrall Street has been the home of the Gospel Mission since the 1940s. The Mission has been in operation in Vancouver since 1929 and is one of the oldest missions in the city. The image shows the building’s first tenants at street level, the Vancouver Drug Company run by Dr. James Rolls and the Vancouver Tea and Coffee Company whose manager is listed as W A Cumyow. The 1889 Directory lists a Louvre Hotel as being on Pender Street – this building wouldn’t become the Louvre for a few more years.

Won Alexander Cumyow was the first Chinese born in Canada, in Port Douglas at the head of Harrision Lake. He was secretary of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association when it was founded in Victoria in 1884 and later its president in Vancouver. Cumyow would later become a court interpreter for the Vancouver Police and while in Vancouver he helped form the Chinese Empire Reform Association to promote the modernization of the Chinese monarchy. He worked in a variety of businesses including real estate and retail.

The Tea and Coffee company moved out and was replaced by a Robertson’s Men’s Furnishings, Hats and Caps. In 1891 Arthur Haines opened his real estate office next to the drug company and took rooms upstairs. Haines would remain in the building for the next six years. In 1896 the Brown Jug Saloon replaces the drug company and is renamed the Louvre the following year when Reinhold Minaty moves over from the Old Fountain Saloon on Cordova Street. Minaty advertised the Louvre as having the only circular bar in the province and suggested customers “call in and lubricate”.

The wall in the lane (once known as Louvre Alley) still features painted signs for the saloon and advertises clean beds for 20 cents a night at the Boston Rooms a few doors down the lane. The rooms above the store fronts seemed to be operated as a rooming house until 1898 when they are listed as the Louvre Hotel. Fire insurance maps of the period show the hotel had six fireplaces when it was built. On the ground floor a variety of businesses including cafes, confectionary stores, barber shops and tailors come and go over the years.

In 1940 the old Bijou Theatre next door to the hotel was torn down and, for some reason this included the demolition of a section of the Louvre Hotel that faced onto the CPR right-of-way at Carrall. It’s at this point the hotel disappears from the directories and when the Gospel Mission moves in. The Bijou may have been designed by James Donnellan (it was rebuilt in 1913 by Donnellan and Stroud) and for some reason his name appears (wrongly) as the architect of the Louvre on the city’s Statement of Significance. One possibility for the correct architects are Mallandaine & Sansom, who designed a block for Alderman McConnell on Carrall Street in 1889.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives Str P68


Posted 13 November 2012 by ChangingCity in Altered, East End, Still Standing

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