855 Granville Street


Here’s a development proposal that first appeared over three years ago in 2013, but hasn’t been successful in finding tenants for the proposed retail space. It’s a redevelopment of the Granville (formerly Odeon) cinema complex, which will potentially return to being three separate buildings. The revised version has nearly 30,000 sq ft of office space on the second and third floors, and around 27,000 of retail in the main and basement floors.

On the left (south) end of the site there’s a heritage facade for the Palms Hotel, dating back to 1893. It only got that name in 1913 – before that it was the home of the MacKay and Almond Creamery, an ice cream manufacturer. It was consolidated into the cinema in the mid 1980s. The most recent building, the contemporary cinema facade in the middle, will get a completely new glazed facade, and is now being offered as office space – initially it was suggested for retail use. The third building has a notable windowless art deco heritage facade from 1938, when it became the Paradise Theatre. It was built originally in 1912 as the Globe Theatre. After 1965 it became the Coronet, until it became part of the Odeon in 1986.

Studio One Architecture initially proposed to restore the plaster facade and reintroduce a vertical sign on the face of the building, with a slim vertical window to allow some light in, without significantly compromising the facade. Skylights introduced natural light into the upper floor. Although there are now new architects: Musson, Cattell Mackey, that part of the proposal seems unchanged, although there’s now an additional floor, set back from the façade, in the new development permit image.

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3 Responses to 855 Granville Street

  1. This means of course, the loss of the cinema infrastructure that is there. While it would indeed be more beautiful as three buildings, it doesn’t resolve the question about where to put the missing movie screens. One cannot read this proposal without crying for the loss of Vancouver’s cultural amenity space. It would be nice to have a victory or two on this front.

    • ChangingCity says:

      The cinema was ‘lost’ when it closed last year. Overall fewer people seem to be going to the movies, especially in older movie complexes like this one, which was reported to make no money. There’s a new cinema being built at Marine Landing as we noted here before – and at least the new development seems respectful of the heritage facades.

  2. Ron says:

    If they added 2 more floors (and bought the parcel to the north) to make the square footage 100,000 sq ft, it could appeal to Simons Department Store, which is entering the Vancouver market.

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