Thursday, May 8, 2014: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Church purchase leaves theatre heritage at risk; City ownership still the best option
The Save the Hollywood Theatre Coalition, that has led a public campaign to protect the theatre, is concerned that the Point Grey Community Church plan for the Hollywood would neither secure the theatre’s heritage nor realize its fullest potential as a public arts and culture venue.
The community advocates for:
- full heritage designation of the Hollywood Theatre exterior, interior and theatre use;
- having a community-based, arms-length group responsible for overseeing programming of the theatre through a community-use agreement; and
- ensuring any bonus density or other incentives granted result both in heritage protection and flexible community use in perpetuity.
The Church has not indicated their proposal includes these basic requirements for community support.
The Coalition’s plan has been outlined in our document “Reinventing the Hollywood“. This outlines the option to revitalize the Hollywood as a vibrant arts and cultural centre that the City could acquire at a reasonable cost. It would be operated as a self-supporting non-profit society in the model of Kitsilano ‘s St. James Community Square which has operated independently for 20 years as a community cultural venue.
St. James and arts organizations across the city have expressed support for the Coalition’s vision to save the Hollywood. Heritage Vancouver Society has very strongly supported full heritage designation of the Hollywood exterior, interior and theatre use.
Steve Edge, who has been Artistic Director of the Rogue Folk Club for 27 years, said “Vancouver has very little in mid-sized performance venues between 400 and 1,000 seats. The Hollywood would fill this niche with an affordable 500 – 600 seat venue for community arts groups, theatres, and concert presenters that is much needed.”
The Coalition also has an extensive business plan that outlines how this can be accomplished which is soon to be released.
For further information on this issue, please see this background document.