Our Last Opportunity to Save the York Theatre
On Thursday December 18th, 2008, at 10:00 am, City Council will consider a staff recommendation. Council's decision will determine the future of the York Theatre.
If Council approves the staff recommendation to grant a transfer of density to cover one-third of the restoration costs, the York Theatre will be demolished.
If Council approves the prospective buyer's request to grant a transfer of density to cover 100% of the restoration costs, the York Theatre will be restored.
The Save the York Theatre Society is asking Council to approve a density transfer of 100% of the value of the restoration.
Our Last Opportunity
This is our last opportunity to save the York Theatre.
The York Theatre was purchased by a developer in 2007 with the intention to demolish the building and build residential units.
The Save the York Theatre Society mobilized the community to stop the demolition and found a benefactor interested in purchasing and restoring the theatre.
The Vancouver East Cultural Centre Society expressed an interest in operating the theatre and began working with the benefactor and the City.
On September 18th, 2008, City Council placed a 120-day protection order on the York Theatre to allow the Vancouver East Cultural Centre Society to complete a Feasibility Study and Operation Plan for the York Theatre.
The benefactor agreed to purchase and pay for the complete restoration of the theatre in exchange for increased density on another site in the City. The City donates air and the community receives a fully restored theatre.
The staff report does not support this proposal. It recommends the Vancouver East Cultural Centre Society fund raise for two thirds of the restoration cost. The Society stated from the beginning they were not in a position to do any fund raising.
On January 16, the current owner will have the right to begin demolition of the York Theatre. Although staff recommends Council ask him to voluntarily postpone demolition, the owner intends to tear the building down as soon the protection order expires in mid-January 2009 and has already started dismantling the interior.
The December 18th Council meeting is our last opportunity to save the York Theatre.
To read the Staff Recommendations and Report to Council on the York Theatre PDF click here
To read the call to the community which attracted the interest of a benefactor to Save the York Theatre click here
To read the History and Vision for the York Theatre click here
To read about the Need for Theatre Space in Vancouver click here
To read what Heritage Vancouver says about the York Theatre as one of the 2008 Top Ten Endangered Sites click here
To read what the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance says about the York Theatre click here