Varsity Theatre

4375 W. 10th Avenue,
Vancouver, BC V6R 2H6

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Famous Players, Festival Cinemas - Canada, Odeon Theatres (Canada) Ltd.

Architects: Harold Solomon Kaplan

Firms: Kaplan & Sprachman

Nearby Theaters

Varsity Theatre

Opened October 5, 1939. Designed by the architect Harold Solomon Kaplan. Every summer for 20 years, ending in 1982, it was home to the Varsity Festival of International Films, put on by owner Canadian Odeon Theatres. Odeon owned it through 1987, then Famous Players from 1988-1992. Another conflicting sources said it was bought in around 1980-82 by Leonard Schein (Festival Cinemas), who sold it in 2001. Current Festival Cinemas employee said the Varsity Theatre was operated from 1990-1998 by Festival Cinemas, then by Ken Charko (of Dunbar Theatre). It closed January 15, 2006, after which it was razed for new development.

Contributed by Rosie Perera

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

rl_83 on May 28, 2012 at 1:22 am

The Varsity has the honor of running the last 70mm print in Vancouver. It was Hamlet in 1997.

Splashcat66 on December 31, 2016 at 11:37 pm

Opened October 5 1939 at 6:45PM

rivest266 on November 25, 2018 at 9:48 am

Reopened by Famous Players on March 18th, 1988 after Cineplex abandoned them when they opened the Granville cinemas Dunbar, Plaza, and Varsity reopeningsDunbar, Plaza, and Varsity reopenings Fri, Mar 18, 1988 – 75 · The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) ·

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on January 1, 2023 at 12:23 am

The entire street is Gentrified.

m00se1111 on January 3, 2023 at 8:09 am

ok and? Is there something specific about the theatre in that comment?

KevinEastwood on March 24, 2023 at 12:59 am

I see that a previous post states that The Varsity ran the last 70mm print in Vancouver and says that this was Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet in 1997. That is not true. The Park Theatre in Vancouver has played 70mm prints of films like The Hateful 8 (2015) and Dunkirk (2017) in the years since. In fact, when The Varsity Theatre played Hamlet in 1997 it actually borrowed The Park Theatre’s Cinemeccanica projector to show the film. At the time both theatres were operated by the same company, Festival Cinemas. I still remember the sight of the print for Hamlet since it was the wildest print I had ever seen working in movie theatres. Due to the fact the film was over 3 hours long, the movie had to be split across 14 reels, resulting in 14 massive 70 mm shipping cases that lined the hallway to the projection booth. - A former manager of the Varsity & Park

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