Rex Theatre

25 West Hastings Street,
Vancouver, BC V6B

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: First National Theatres

Functions: Retail

Styles: Spanish Baroque

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Rex Theatre

Fondly remembered by those growing up as kids in the 1930’s and 1940’s, influenced by Tom Mix and Westerns, the Rex Theatre and its brightly lit facade was part of the ornate theatres once operating in the city. The Rex Theatre opened December 20, 1913. Vaudeville shows were performed here as well.

The area declined when the main business and retail ventured westward. The popularity of television also led to the demise of the Rex Theatre. Although the theatre is no longer standing as built, upon it’s demise, the structure was gutted and retrofitted into the existing Army & Navy Department Store in 1959. Only parts of the original interior plaster work still exist though not visible due to modernization.

Contributed by Sean Jung

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Here is an update of the updated link of 8/11/07:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 21, 2011 at 4:29 am

The Rex was in the building now occupied by the easterly section of the Army & Navy store (the part with no windows on the upper floors.)

I don’t know if there’s any point in updating the update to the updated link, but this is probably the 1950 photo that keeps going missing. Vancouver Public Library has a user-hostile web site. If the photo vanishes again, I’ll be willing to let it stay lost.

johnatkin on November 3, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I recently had an opportunity to explore the building that housed the Rex and unfortunately nothing of the interior exists and the facade was completely removed and replaced with a new concrete and breeze block wall during the conversion to the store.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2012 at 12:37 am

An article about the history of movie exhibition in Vancouver appeared in the July 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World. This page includes a few lines about the Rex, and small photo of it. It says that the Rex opened in the fall of 1913 and was built at a cost of $130,000.

Keith McKellar’s Neon Eulogy: Vancouver CafĂ© and Street says that the Army & Navy store took over the Rex Theatre’s space in 1959.

Texas2step on April 17, 2017 at 5:16 pm

This one opened on December 20, 1913.

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