Opens as a small drama and recital hall on the ground floor of the residential building at 635 Commercial Drive.


Recognizing the need for a larger performance venue, Robert MacLaren builds the Alcazar Theatre next door at 637 Commercial Drive. Mr. VanHarlinger manages the theatre. J.Y. McCarter is the architect and goes on to design The Marine Building.  

November 13, 1913

The Alcazar opens with Too Much Johnson, a comedy by William Gillette.

November 7, 1923

The Little Theatre opens with Lonesomelike, by Harold Brighouse. 

September, 1923

 The Vancouver Little Theatre Association (VLTA) purchases the Palace, makes alterations, and renames it the Little Theatre. A concrete-block addition is built south of the lobby, to incorporate space for patrons, set construction, and storage. 


The Alcazar closes. The building reopens as a cinema called the Palace Theatre. 


The Little Theatre shows movies. 


The VLTA undertakes major renovations to the building. Work includes a new entrance façade, marquee, and canopy outside, and a new proscenium and lighting inside. The design is Art Deco in character. The 1923 addition is extended southward to provide additional space for the lobby and other purposes. H.H. Simmonds is the architect.  

February 12, 1940

The renovated building opens with a new name, the York Theatre.


The current owners announce the demolition of the theatre. The Save the York Theatre Society is formed by Tom Durrie to save the building.


The building is converted to a cinema to show weekly Bollywood films.


 The VLTA does renovations to the building, including a new roof and washroom upgrades. A second concrete-block addition is built at the southeast corner to be used as a scene shop.  ign The Marine Building.  


The theatre sits dark until the late 1980s when two young men move in and use it for rock band rehearsals and eventually, a music venue renamed the New York Theatre, which featured punk and grunge bands. The New York Theatre opens with a seven-band show, headed by D.O.A.


The New York Theatre closes.  


The Raja Theatre opens and features Bollywood films.

December 6, 2013

The York Theatre reopens with The Cultch and Theatre Replacement’s production of Jack & the Beanstalk: An East Van Panto. 


 A feasibility study is conducted for the restoration and redevelopment of the theatre. Wall Financial Corporation and The Cultch form a partnership, with the support of the City of Vancouver, to save the York Theatre and restore the building. 


The Raja closes. 

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A historic performing arts theatre renovated with contemporary styling.

Address: 639 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W3
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Phone: (604) 251-1363

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