Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Collingwood Corner: Collingwood Theatre at 4926 Joyce Street

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

Did you know that a theatre was located at 488, then 4926 Joyce Road, now Joyce Street, from 1914 until 1934, according to the BC Directories? I’ve been researching this mystery for a while and recently located a few clues. One of them was discovered in the Greater Vancouver Chinook newspaper, courtesy of the University of B.C. Archives online (see photo 1).

Photo 1: May 18, 1912. The map shows the location of Collingwood Theatre. Image from UBC Archives online

The second clue was discovered when I placed a photo from the Vancouver archives in my photo editor and enlarged and clarified it, discovering a building that I believe to be the Collingwood Theatre (photo 2). You can’t see it until you zoom in, and I was startled to find it when I’d never noticed it before.

Photo 2: 1913, looking north on Joyce Road. Photo courtesy of Loretta Houben, from Vancouver Archives

The theatre was near Wellington Avenue and Joyce Street, and by looking at another image (photo 3), I have deduced that this picture shows a view of Wellington and Joyce that was taken in 1913 and is from the collection of Mrs. Walter S. Baird, courtesy of the Vancouver Archives. If it weren’t for Mrs. Baird, we wouldn’t have any scenes of Joyce Road from the 1910 era. You can see a house on the left side of the photo that stood beside the theatre. I assume it was built in 1913 as it appears in the 1913 photo, and it appears in the directories the following year.

Photo 3: 1913 Joyce Road. Photo from Vancouver Archives

The Collingwood Theatre is mentioned rarely in newspapers of the time. It was managed by Cecil R. Hall, who lived on Aberdeen Street, as shown in the 1930 directory. However, by 1932 the theatre was no longer operating, according to the directory. Cecil Hall had moved to North Vancouver and became the operator of the Lonsdale Theatre.

The property on which the Collingwood Theatre once operated for 19 years is now for sale for a hefty price. Things are always changing in Collingwood!

Loretta Houben enjoys solving mysteries in the Collingwood area, where she has lived for 55 years.

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