Granville Street used to be lined with arcades, movie theatres, and sex shops, many of which glowed on the street with their bright neon signs. Movieland Arcade is a rare, lingering relic from that era, combining all three vices—video games, movies, and pornography—in one dusty, remarkably unchanging location.
A notoriously reclusive man named Jack Jung opened Movieland in 1972 and continues to operate it today. Little has changed in four decades since the arcade opened its doors, from the vintage of the video games to the 8-mm peep shows in the back. Today, Movieland is the last home of 8-mm peep show film booths in the world.
Throughout the years of its operation, Movieland has been a haven for anyone looking to escape the hustle of everyday life for a while.
- Source, VisibleCity
Columns of white light have lined 10 blocks of Granville Street downtown since 2010, when Vancouver architects Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb designed and mounted the light installation known as “The Great White Way.” The name comes from a popular moniker for Granville Street during the neon heyday of the 1940s and ‘50s.
The installation itself is not technically neon, but its design was inspired by efforts to complement existing and historical neon that defined Granville Street over the years. It’s also the most recent ambient light installation on the street.
The installation was part of 2009 municipal efforts to revive Granville Street, and was unveiled in time for the 2010 Olympics, when Granville was closed to cars and filled with people.
A bootlegging legend named Harry Reifel started building the Vogue Theatre in 1940. The following spring in April 1941, Vancouver residents bought tickets for 15 to 35 cents to participate in opening-day festivities. The day featured a performance by 23-year-old saxophonist Dal Richards leading a special 25-piece band for the occasion.
Dal Richards would continue a lifelong musical career, and his big-band orchestra is still active today, performing across the city.
The Vogue will always hold a special place in Dal’s heart, he says. The same is true for many more generations of Vancouver residents. The theatre continues to thrive as a hotspot for a wide range of live cultural events.
- Source: VisibleCity
Originally the location of the Decadent Donuts neon sign, newcomer to the street Megabite Pizza is a beacon on the street for those starving for some late night pie.
Named the Colonial Hotel when it opened in 1889, what’s now known as the Yale was originally built to house Canadian Pacific Railway workers who moved to the city for work in the 1880s.
Waide Luciak purchased the Yale just under a century later in 1987, cementing the downstairs pub as a venue for live blues. By then, Luciak family members were still finding straw in the basement from the Yale’s old horse paddock used by loggers, who would ride down to the former bath house and saloon after work in False Creek.
The Yale closed for renovations in winter 2011. The challenge moving forward, Luciak family members say, lies in honouring the blues tradition that has blossomed in the bar while staying relevant for new generations of patrons.
- Source: VisibleCity