Culture is something that Vancouverites probably take for granted, as there is so much to see and do in Vancouver. This section will provide information on where and how to watch/rent/buy movies, see plays, visit the opera, ballet, and symphony, and will include resources for additional information.
Going to the movies is a fairly expensive venture in Vancouver, with general admission priced at $12.50 and child admission at $9.99. Large multi-theater cinemas offer plenty of amenities for watching movies in comfort and style. Tickets are available to purchase online beforehand, but it typically isn’t necessary to do so unless you just prefer the convenience of already having your tickets in hand (printout) once you arrive at the theatre. Some theatres have ticket booths, some have automated ticket machines, and some have both. Some of the major cinemas in town:
Cinemark Tinseltown — http://www.cinemarktinseltown.ca
88 West Pender
Empire Esplanade 6 Cinemas — http://www.empiretheatres.com/theatres/north-vancouver-empire-esplanade-6-cinemas
200 West Esplanade
Empire Oakridge Cinemas — http://www.empiretheatres.com/theatres/vancouver-empire-oakridge-cinemas
601-650 West 41st Ave
Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver — http://www.cineplex.com/Theatres/FindATheatre.aspx
900 Burrard Street
Cineplex Odeon Park and Tilford — http://www.cineplex.com/Theatres/FindATheatre.aspx
200-333 Brooksbank Avenue
Station Square — http://www.cineplex.com/Theatres/FindATheatre.aspx
220-6200 Mckay Ave., Burnaby, BC
SilverCity Metropolis — http://www.cineplex.com/Theatres/FindATheatre.aspx
4700 Kingsway Ave, Burnaby, BC
Many expats will be happy to know that Blockbuster has locations in Canada, and there are also a number of other movie rental stores around the city. Membership is required. Newer releases run anywhere from $4 to $6, while older movies go for $2 to $4.
1835 Renfrew Street
12TH & MAIN
2929 Main Street
6580 Fraser Street
1575 Robson Street
16TH & OAK
3195 Oak Street
1887 West Broadway
3298 West Broadway
5485 West Blvd.
Black Dog Video — http://www.blackdogvideo.bc.ca
3451 Cambie Street
1470 Commercial Drive
Limelight Video — http://www.limelightvideo.ca
2505 Alma Street
Rogers Plus — http://www.rogersplus.ca
1027 15th Avenue West
2097 West Broadway
1295 Davie Street
2200 York Avenue
1674 Davie Street
5503 West Boulevard
5603 Victoria Drive
2696 East Hastings Street
8377 Granville Street
Video Matica —
1855 West 4th Avenue
Most of these performances will sell out (particularly around Christmas), so it is highly recommended to purchase tickets online, as far in advance as possible (especially in order to procure good seats).
The Vancouver Opera company puts on four performances per season and performs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, located in downtown Vancouver. Upcoming performances for the 2009-2010 season include Norma, Madame Butterfly, Marriage of Figaro, and John Adams’ minimalist opera, Nixon in China.
Season subscriptions may be purchased or you may purchase tickets for a single performance. Tickets range in price from around $35 up to $185.
For further information please see the Vancouver Opera website: http://www.vancouveropera.ca.
835 Cambie Street
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest symphony orchestra in Canada and puts on around 140 performances per season. Its home is the Orpheum Theatre, located on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. Popular performances include A Traditional Christmas, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Chamber Music, and much more.
As with the Opera, season subscriptions are available, or tickets may be purchase for single performances. Regular tickets range in price from around $25 up to $79.
For further information please see the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s website: http://www.vancouversymphony.ca.
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
601 Smithe Street
Box Office: 604 876 3434
Fax: 604 684 9264
For Tickets: VSO Customer Service: 604 876 3434
Pacific Baroque Orchestra
The Pacific Baroque Orchestra plays music of the Baroque period on period instruments.
For further information please the Pacific Baroque Orchestra’s website: http://www.pacificbaroque.com.
P.O. Box 3215, Station Terminal
Ballet BC is an internationally acclaimed ballet company headquartered in Vancouver. The company underwent restructuring in 2008 due to a decline in ticket sales, but is now back up and running, with a new executive director, and new performances scheduled for the upcoming season. Ballet BC performs at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, as well as other venues around the city.
For further information please see Ballet BC’s website: http://www.balletbc.com.
Vancouver is home to a number of theatre companies that attract a loyal following of locals who treasure the city’s thriving arts scene. The major theatres:
The Playhouse Theatre Company — http://www.vancouverplayhouse.com/
Hamilton Street (at Dunsmuir)
The Playhouse performs 6 full-scale productions each year, including classic and contemporary drama, comedy, and musicals.
Firehall Arts Centre — http://www.firehallartscentre.ca
280 East Cordova Street
Box Office: 604.689.0926
Located in Gastown, Firehall is Vancouver’s most innovative playhouse, combining theatre, dance, and visual arts.
Artsclub Theatre Company — http://www.artsclub.com
1585 Johnston Street
Box Office: 604-687-1644
Artsclub is the largest theatre company in Western Canada, and offers some of the best live professional theatre year-round. Productions include musicals, classic and contemporary theatre, new works, and comedies.
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival — http://www.bardonthebeach.org
Bard Box Office:
604-739-0559 or 1-877-739-0559
Held in the summertime only, this theatre group performs in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, on the waterfront (Kitsilano). 2011 productions include As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, Henry VI, and Richard III. Tickets go on sale in March for the upcoming season.
The Georgia Straight is Vancouver’s premier culture/arts/entertainment weekly paper, and it is free. You can pick up a copy on any street corner or in front of grocery stores, shopping centers, and the like. The Georgia Straight can also be accessed online: http://www.straight.com. Its pages are packed with information pertaining to upcoming concerts, plays, operas, ballet, festivals, exhibits, and more.