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Former theatre incorporated into new condo development

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Whether you’re talking about the Hollywood Theatre or Hobbit House, Vancouver’s heritage buildings have been in the news recently.

While it’s usually a battle between developers wanting to knock them down and neighbourhood groups hoping to save them, one East Vancouver developer is bucking that trend.

The former Van East Cinema has now been converted to condos, and James Askew with Marquee developers says they did all they could to retain the original building.

“Plus, 75 per cent of the original Van East Cinema was retained and kept for the building we have today. The bricks we have on the outside, almost all the bricks, the concrete, the steel, all the exterior structure, as much as possible was retained on here,” he says.

Askew says the building doesn’t have the glamour of older spaces built in the 1930s or ’40s but the theatre does have it’s own allure. “It was originally designed by Bruno Freschi, the architect who did Expo ’86 and Science World, so it’s got a great heritage and history to it. The developer thought it was something where it was too special to just knock down and build a new condo there, which he could have done.”

The renovation includes 58 units and commercial space.