Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dolphin Cinemas making way for Brentwood Theatre?

I remember as a kid enjoying my first theatre experience at the Dolphin Cinema in 1982.  The movie was "The Sword and the Sorcerer".  I recently watched "The Lorax" with my kids there.  My kids won't have the memories that I've had watching movies on Hastings Street in North Burnaby as the old theatre is slated for demolition to make way for a new development.

I've been wondering what would become of the Dolphin Cinema once the Brentwood Movie Theatre comes to fruition in the Brentwood Mall redevelopment.  I guess I have the answer now.  As the Burnaby Heights street front along Hastings continues its transformation on either side of Willingdon, old places like the Dolphin that I enjoyed in my youth will begin to disappear the way Sach's Arcade did by the mid 90s.

This story just came out today in the Burnaby Now and Burnaby NewsLeader.

Dolphin Cinemas building up for redevelopment

The rezoning application for the development came before Burnaby council at Monday night's meeting.
The developer, Heights Entertainment, is partnering with the Vancouver Resource Society on the project, which would include two levels of commercial and office space, and two levels of residential space, according to the application.
The society is a non-profit organization that provides housing for people with disabilities, allowing them to operate businesses from their home.
The development would include 11 housing units for the society on the second floor.
The third and fourth floors would contain market residential units, while the ground floor would be for commercial space.
The theatre owners could not be reached for comment before deadline.
Dolphin Cinemas is owned by Hollywood 3, which has theatres in Surrey and Pitt Meadows, as well.

Dolphin Cinema site slated for redevelopment

The Dolphin Cinema, which has served North Burnaby for five decades, could soon be demolished to make way for a new development.

The property at 4555 Hastings St. is the subject of a rezoning application which proposes to replace the movie theatre with a four-storey mixed-use development.
Under the Hastings Street Area Plan, to achieve the maximum permitted floor space, the project would have to comprise commercial space on the first two storeys, with residential on the top two floors, according to a city staff report.
The developer, Heights Entertainment, has proposed that instead of the second floor being used for commercial space, that it house 11 accessible rental units through a partnership with the Vancouver Resource Society.
The society, a non-profit organization that specializes in providing accessible housing for people with disabilities, would own the units and rent them to tenants who meet its eligibility criteria.
A Section 219 Covenant would be sought requiring that over the long term the 11 units continue to be used as accessible rental housing, the report said. The third and fourth floors would comprise market housing units.
A rezoning, as well as a minor amendment to the Hastings Street Area Plan, are required to allow the added housing on the second floor.
Meanwhile, the Dolphin Cinemas continues to operate until it's told otherwise.
"It's still in talks and right now we're continuing to run the business as usual," said theatre manager Nathan Ferguson on Monday.


  1. Loved the Dolphin Cinema. Loved those cheap movie nights on new releases! Great when I was a student on a tight budget.

    1. That's just it. You could go see a movie at the Dolphin for a few bucks and have money left to do something else afterwards. Those were the days.

  2. I hope that someone has the sense to see that the reason why people love that neighbourhood is because of the amenities, including the Dolphin.

    Why bother moving into a really cool neighbourhood if everything is going to be 'developed' and destroyed? What kinds of family entertainment will be left? Shopping in the 'for lease' section of the 'mixed use building'? Doesn't sound like much fun.

    City Hall needs to make this theatre into something that can't be destroyed or developed into condos or 'mixed use building' types.

  3. nice posting. thanks for sharing