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Council endorses liquor licence for Fox (former porn theatre) cabaret on Main

November 27th, 2013 · 20 Comments

Must be some high-fiving along Main about this.

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  • RAMP and the MPIC hosted a self-directed charrette workshop last summer where this site was prominently featured as the oldest historic site outside the downtown.

    http://wp.me/p2FnNe-7C

    I have that on the good authority of local historian Bruce Macdonald. However, it is going to take a lot more City muscle to gain the trust of beaten down local spirit and imagination to get a concept like this going.

    We have had some positive signs of life with Care Free Days and Autumn Shift Festival closing the streets, re-routing the buses, and jamming-full the streets with people. Very un-Vancouver, No?

    Very “new” Vancouver. Our town is going to rock in the next decades fuelled by an old idea—People Doing It for Themselves.

  • Tiktaalik

    Given how many performance venues have been forced to close in this city in the last several years (both before Vision’s election and after), and given the accusations that the city has ramped up its attempts to shutter unlicensed performance spaces, it would have been outrageous for council to not approve this.

  • Everyman

    I notice the report says the Fox operated as an adult theatre since 1986. Was it a legitimate movie theatre before that? Does anyone know it’s history? It seems like a very small storefront for a theatre, so I would assume it would date back quite a long time.

    Sorry, the local history geek in me is coming to the fore. It’s too bad nobody has written a history of Vancouver’s theatres.

  • Hey Everyman,

    It was The Savoy – Check this out: https://twitter.com/FoxCabaret/status/376051133988364289

    Also, check out The Greater Vancouver Book by Chuck Davis. A fair bit of theatre history in it…

  • Bill Lee

    And previously the Dewfield Meat Market at 2321 Main Street, FAirview 0867.

    Remember vpl.ca/bccd for all your street directory needs.

    I am wary of the groups doing this new work.

    …”David Duprey, who opened the Rickshaw Theatre as a live music venue in 2009, has signed a lease on the Fox Theatre in Mount Pleasant.

    Duprey says he’s partnered up with three members of the Waldorf Productions team and will take possession of the 37-year-old building, famous for screening adult films, on August 1.

    “I’ve had my eye on the Fox forever,” Duprey told CBC News.

    “Like we can do anything in there. We can do theatre. We can do comedy. We can do live music, we can have DJs. I mean the place is 200, 300 seats. It’s just the perfect size.””

    Remember them?
    Posted: Mar 14, 2013
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-s-fox-theatre-to-get-new-lease-on-life-1.1387245

  • brian

    Bill, what’s wrong with this being taken on by the people behind the waldorf and the rickshaw? As far as I’m concerned, those places were the two most interesting things to happen in vancouver venues in recent memory. (the rio and Fortune being the other two)

  • Jay

    Like it. People in Vancouver (and outside Vancouver) tend to focus on Granville St. when we talk about nightlife, while Main St. for the most part gets over-looked. The Fox will be another great addition to the Main St. corridor to go along with venues such as The Electric Owl, the re-invented Cobalt, London, and a lot more. The Imperial (former movie theatre) at 319 Main is a super cool space that hosts live acts as well as EDM DJ’s. Main street is where it’s at.

  • Dan Cooper

    @brian:

    “Interesting” is good of course, but being able and willing to pay your bills is also good. Essentially, from all I heard and read, the actual owner of the Waldorf building and land made the mistake of renting space to these fellows, who then failed to pay rent all the time but (along with many in the community) felt that having let their “interesting” business in, the actual building owner should never be able to do anything else with his/her/its property as long as they wanted to squat there. I was never quite clear whether such people felt the City should buy and run the building, the owner should simply be shafted, or just that water runs down hill but (Praise The Lawd!) never reaches the bottom.

  • Dan Cooper

    Here’s an article that discusses the operators’ admitted rent issue, as well as – it seems – a third business suing the once and future venue operators over alleged/unproven financial problems:

    http://www.biv.com/article/20130808/BIV0107/130809952/-1/BIV/royal-bank-sues-former-waldorf-hotel-operators

  • Ned

    Bill # 5
    Are you telling me that the same arrogant bozos that created that ruckus at the Waldorf, are the new landlords of the former porn theatre?
    This sounds like fun already!
    If you ask me, I wouldn’t do business with these guys if they were a boil growing on my butt! 🙂

  • Kenji

    @10

    I never went to the Waldorf because I am uncool, but my cool friends really liked it, so those bozos seemed to know how to put on shows.

    Anyway, what really active activist is not also a bozo? Think about it!

    If they are out and out crims then I would totally agree.

  • Terry M

    Kenji 11
    Those “bozos” left the landlords of Waldorf with unpaid rent North of 1 $ million. Anybody can put a party, Kenji, if spending other people’s money is no concern to them.
    Few people can do both, manage a business and sell fun. These guys… Not so sure.
    But as you remember, as friends of Vision Vancouver and their stick man Gregor, they’ll probably be fine, bailouts and rent to own, are latest city of Vancouver’s specialty… See Hootsuite.
    Anything else?

  • Kenji

    Ha ha! I did not know about unpaid rent. I did hear something about them trying to arrange a sale of the place behind the actual owner’s back, which is shenanigans, if not being out and out crims.

  • jenables

    As for old theatres, apparently Mr pets on commercial drive was one of Vancouver ‘s oldest theatres. Time to research!

  • jenables
  • Ned

    Terry M #12
    You wanted to say “South of 1$ million)

    “Waldorf Hotel Ltd. forgave rent
    Puharich also claimed that his family-owned company, Waldorf Hotel Ltd., forgave $311,876.46 in unpaid rent from Waldorf Productions before a lease was renegotiated in September.
    Puharich characterized this as “$311,876.46 that Waldorf Hotel Ltd. and the Puharich family contributed to the arts community in the city of Vancouver”.”

    Here’s the story:
    http://www.straight.com/news/342681/waldorf-hotel-owner-and-leaseholder-differ-over-recent-history-site

    Throw alcohol in, mix it with incompetence and you have a Vision Vancouver sponsorship project. You read it here first! 🙂

  • gman

    But…but….but Ned they said in Dans link…“We are hoping to do something exciting, fun and progressive with the space….”
    So there you have it its going to be “Progressive”
    and “Fun”…I wonder if it will be green too?Well maybe not green,they seem to have a bit of a problem when it comes down to the green.
    So now they just need a name for the new digs,might I suggest The Sticky Pit or Peepers.I’m pretty sure it will be Self Service.I don’t think I want to use the washrooms though.

  • Cheezwiz

    Thank you to all the fellow history nerds above, love the links!

  • brilliant

    @gman 17-yep hipster central, so instead of being filled with wankers literally the Fox will now be filled with wankers figuratively!

  • Michael Gordon

    I agree with what Brian and Jay posted earlier on this thread and well acquainted with the new live music venues in this city like the Electric Owl, the Rio, Fortune and the Rickshaw. I like to go out and enjoy live music and think it is important to support that and generally local culture here in Vancouver.

    So the venue was a porn theatre and now the proposal for it to be a place for live music sounds good to me. It could have been converted into retail space for a national chain and prefer they are working with it as a theatre venue.

    Three of us have been working on the history of live music venues in Vancouver since the early part of the last century…we’ve completed almost 30 hours of many interviews with folks ranging from Dal Richards, Red Robinson to younger entrepreneurs like David Duprey, Suzanne Tabata and Rob Calder who organize venues and opportunities to hear music by local folks.

    I wish them well and hope the venue goes well. I would also notice that managing a venue like that in Mt Pleasant also requires respect for the impact its patrons might have on those living nearby late at night.