The Interior of the Vancouver Opera House, (Item Bu P7) Photo by William Stark
Theatre backdrops can be very temporal artifacts, painted at grand scale, and then carted off stage or perhaps painted over for the next show. The artists who paint these backdrops most likely never managed to get top billing on the programs if they were credited at all, making them a very elusive bunch to track down. Fortunately, we do have some record of their work, most typically in publicity photography taken on stage.
With the recent upgrade to the Vancouver Archives search engine, photos like these become a whole lot easier to find and enjoy. I’ve collected a small gallery of images featuring some Vancouver backdrops which showcase the stage, theatres, and performers alike.
The Columbia Theatre, 1920 (Item : CVA 99-1379) Photo by Stuart Thomson
The Columbia Theatre was situated at 64 West Hastings, across the street from where the Paris Block is today. Here’s another picture of the theatre and its marquee by Stuart Thomson.