Friday, 16 November 2012

Granville 7 Theater Interior Demolition

The last film played at the venerable Empire Theater Granville 7 on November 4, 2012....the interior demolition started at 7:30 am the next day.
Anything that looked, smelled or in anyway resembled movie night out...was torn down, torn off, hammered, unbolted , unscrewed, pulled away and tossed into the garbage bin of constant progress.

It was sad to see the screens get cut apart with knives and the seats getting the sledgehammer treatment. The massive speakers that could have powered a fantastic outdoor concert ( or a window busting house party ), all went to the trash bins.

In the end, no one had the time and storage space to put the goodies until a good home could be found. We will be regretting that move one day when the technology swings back around to "retro" mode...and all the gear is gone.

Makes me think of all those WW ll  airplanes that got scrapped at the end of the war. Nobody considered them to be of any value...because "new technology" was coming to save the day.

Here's the link to the last days of the Denman Cinema

Here is the link to the photo essay on the closing of the Vancouver Sears store

Here's a different approach by small business

Empire Theaters Granville 7
Before pics ( from dedicated Flickr users )
BlueandWhiteArmy on Flickr

BlueandWhiteArmy on Flickr

BlueandWhiteArmy on Flickr

Film projector...likely headed to the scrap heap

Cinema 4...last stop before the trash bin

I wonder how many miles of film ran through this projector in it's lifetime

The divots in the floor are where the seats were bolted down

Main floor concession area

Ticket office...facing to Granville

No soundproofing panels

Main lobby

Main floor concession area

Bottom floor to Cinema 1 and 2

Massive banks of speakers were hung in frames behind the movie screen

Projector room up in the back

High density sound absorbing panels being removed

Tools of destruction

Cinema 7 level

This used to be the Cinema 7 level concession stand
Why have a drinking fountain, when you can buy bottled water?...Why use a payphone when you can spend 80 bucks a month on a cellphone package?..On the other'll always need a shovel and broom to clean up the mess that progress brings.

Looking across Granville at the Commodore Ballroom

The Orpheum...I saw Tony Bennett there a couple years ago...great showman...awesome talent

Cinema 7

Looking through a set of doors and then windows to Granville St

Looking down over the railing at the main floor concession area

Roller bin full of what used to be "high tech" gear...headed to the dumpster

Dumpster in the alley...2 a day..everyday

I'm surprised that the Coca-Cola police haven't come to claim their machines

Projecting no more


  1. As someone who used to work here and has a lot of great memories of the place, I thank you for putting these pictures up, although it kind of stung to look through them.

  2. You might be interested in these:

  3. Nov 11 1938 -
    Paradise Opens. "New English Seating, New Mirrorphonic Sound" 26 years later: tossed into the garbage bin of constant progress.

    Jul 8 1964
    Coronet Opens. "Luxurious New Seating, Striking New Decor" 12 years later: tossed into the garbage bin of constant progress.

    Coronet Twin 11 years later: tossed into the garbage bin of constant progress.

    Jun 19 1987
    Granville 7 Opens. "Luxurious Plush Seating, Elegantly Designed Interior, Extraordinary Lucasfilm THX Sound System 25 years later...

    Nov 4 2012
    And so my friends we'll say goodnight, for time has claimed its prize, and tossed it into the garbage bin of constant progress.