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Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Campaign to Save The York!




By ETHAN RIBALKIN, 24 HOURS






A group of Vancouverites want to make sure one of the city's oldest theatres is preserved and reopened to entertain its neighbours in East Vancouver.

Located at 639 Commercial Drive, the 500-seat York Theatre was purpose-built in 1913 as a live entertainment venue by architect John Y. McCarter, who later designed the Marine Building.

The theatre has been on the market since last fall.

"Presently, my main concern is to make sure it is preserved as a theatre and not changed into something else," said Tom Durrie, the task force organizer.

"I'm just afraid someone is going to make an offer and turn it into a Super Value or a Wal-Mart."

The task force Durrie has assembled includes Bard on the Beach artistic director Christopher Gaze and Early Music Vancouver executive director Jose Verstappen. The group is putting together a business plan for the theatre's restoration in hopes of attracting investment to bring the theatre back to life.

Durrie wants concerned citizens to urge the city to preserve the York Theatre by e-mailing mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca.


Commercial Drive - Live! spoke to Jhayne Holmes, who also had a bid in for the historic theatre last February, "I support Tom completely? I'm glad it's happening."

For more information, Durrie can be reached tdurrie@telus.net.

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