Sunday, June 28, 2015

Vancouver's Past - Local History


Old photos give us a peek into the past, when times were slower and the cars were too. These images of Vancouver come from the archives. 



The Orpheum Theatre
Circa 1940s
Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Archive Photo


Several decades later, the same theatre with new buildings in the background.

Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC Street Scene



The Orpheum is a theatre and music venue in Vancouver, British Columbia which was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1979. The theater and its neon sign have been used as a key location in several episodes of the science-fiction series Battlestar Galactica and Fringe, as well as Highlander: The Series. In the latter decades of the 20th century, the theatre's interior still retained the aura of a grand lady, golden and elegant. 



The Orpheum Interior, Vancouver, Canada, see Credits * below.


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Woodward's Department Stores

Note the fashions and styles on the ladies in the vintage photograph below. 



The Woodward's Department Store Archival Imge, Vancouver, Canada


The Woodward's Building was a historic edifice in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1903 for the Woodward's Department Store when that area of Cordova Street was the heart of Vancouver's retail shopping district. It endured past 100 years of age before its demise. Why did it fail after so many years? The area was changing in demographics, it was no longer a family destination, and the store managers made an ill-fated attempt to change their target market.

The store was famous for its Christmas Window animated displays, and its basement Food Floor, an unusual feature for those times. The prominent "W" sign at the top of the building was a distinctive landmark in the downtown core of Vancouver.


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Duck down the alleyway. . .when they were unpaved.


A Vancouver, BC, Residential Alley Image from the Archives


Nostalgia comes in many forms. It's usually referring to a memory of places or things which have been enhanced with the passing of time. Children played in these alleys, or cut across to the next street on their bikes. Now, domestic entrepreneurs near the Pacific National Exhibition sell parking spaces in the alleys. Lane-way homes are starting to appear. Dusty in the summer and muddy in the winter, it was ordained that alleys should be paved to reduce the dust. Power poles lined the way, much like the laundry poles found in many of the backyards of yesteryear.

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Do you like historical photographs? Do you like to see comparisons of places them to the same place in a different time? Do you like browsing the archives of your city or country?


Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. I have been a bit absent due to life issues monopolizing the time, but I hope to improve that after the summer. Thanks for dropping by!

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References:

* Interior image of Orpheum Theatre stage:
Author: Michael Thoeny

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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History of Vancouver wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Vancouver

The Orpheum wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheum_(Vancouver)

The Woodward's Building wiki
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodward's_Building

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12 comments:

  1. I loooooove historical photos esp before and afters like you posted. I'd purchased some old linen postcards of Victoria BC and on my trip in 2007, I held them up in front of the places they showed and shot a pic of the postcard with the current building. Made for some interesting comparisons.

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    1. I love that sort of comparison, like time shifting. Victoria holds a special place in my hear,t too, JoJo. I love the museum there.

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  2. I'm glad you mentioned BSG and Fringe -- I thought I'd seen it somewhere. So many SciFi shows are filmed in Canada. The X-Files were better there.

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    1. I agree re X-Files, but it was the cheaper cost of production which made it Hollywood North. Did you know that much of I, Robot, was also filmed here? One of the daughters did extra work here a few years ago, working with the likes of Robert Redford, Jeff Bridges, and the Wayans Bros. She also worked on Fantastic Four as an extra. Fun stuff.

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  3. Oh yes, I love all of these. Especially the theater. We have one here slightly like that called The Paramount, and I love going there because the interior has always remained the same (though upkept). It's like stepping back in time.

    The Paramount

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    1. I checked the link for the Paramount and it seems to be Deco styling. Like it! I'm glad they save some of these grand old theatres.

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  4. I would not have expected the theater to look so lovely inside. It's gorgeous! There are theaters in Cleveland that look like nothing on the outside, but are splendid on the inside. Nice to see the old photo of it.

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    1. Yes the outside could use some spiffing up, but then it wouldn't be authentic (as some say). The inside is quite lovely and was very popular in its day. It still hosts some very good stage shows.

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  5. I love looking at old photos compared to the same places in current time. Especially if it's a place I'm familiar with. For instance, downtown Colorado Springs when the streets were still dirt, but the buildings big, and Pikes Peak looming in the background then as it does now.

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    1. I do too, and I wish there were some way we had binoculars that would show us what old growth trees and other areas looked like in the past. In our forests here, most old growth have been cut down with huge stumps left behind.

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  6. I enjoy looking at old photographs and just getting lost in the past for a while. I'm a big fan of old theaters. We used to play a lot of them when I was touring. Some have amazing histories.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I'm a fan of old theatres too Lee! Bet you have seen some interesting ones.

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