The goal of this Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded project (grant number 430-2011-006) was to ‘advance the grant holders’ knowledge of the character of film exhibition in the early part of the 20th century in Vancouver, with a specific focus on 1914 as a case study’. According to Dr. Brian McIlroy at UBC Film Studies, he noted that ‘[a]s one is dealing with broad issues, it is useful to have a permanent and accessible record of the research data on which further analysis will be made’.
A number of undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral researchers were hired on the grant to research in archives and libraries in order to provide empirical data and contextual information. They included undergraduates Sonya William and Emma Myers working specifically on the maps reproduced below 1906-1930. They were asked to examine the Vancouver street directories to identify performance spaces, including what was termed “legitimate” theatre (performance of live plays), vaudeville theatres, and purpose built cinemas. They then plotted these spaces onto a map of Vancouver in order to track the number and location of these theatres/cinemas. What one quickly discovers is that Vancouver gradually had two entertainment districts: along Granville Street and along Hastings Street. In this period, the more sophisticated venues opened up along Granville Street.
Dr. Peter Lester researched the majority of the theatre data. Graduate Students Babak Tabbarraee, Shaun Inouye, Nathen Clerici, Joshua Ferguson, and Dr. Christine Evans, and Dr. Diane Burgess also contributed to these data and contextual matters. Three datasets are included here surrounding 1914 exhibition history in Vancouver; a comparison of Vancouver with Winnipeg and Seattle; and a comparison with Toronto and Montreal.
Above image is courtesy of Pixabay