As a cosmopolitan city with a wide range of live entertainment offerings, Vancouver is home to numerous performing arts organizations and theatre venues.
There are world-class performing arts festivals, an exceptional symphony, various operatic groups and dozens of theatre companies. There is certainly no shortage of live entertainment in the city and surrounding region.
VANCOUVER THEATRE AND COVID-19
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the spring of 2020 has been devastating for theatre companies in Vancouver and around the world. Visiting productions like Shen Yun and the Royal Canadian Circus were both cancelled in both 2020 and 2021. Companies like the Arts Club and Vancouver TheatreSports have also had to close their doors temporarily.
Hopefully cinemas, community theatre groups and major venues will be able to reopen their doors soon! Fingers crossed!
Theatre in Metro Vancouver
Below are lists of some of the region’s top performing arts-related venues, theatrical companies and theatre festivals.
For information about entertainment in general, click Vancouver Entertainment. For details about Vancouver theatres and theatrical companies, see below.
Lower Mainland Theatres
The City of Vancouver has multiple theatres and most other municipalities in the region have at least one too. Below is a list of some of the main venues.
There are numerous theatre venues within the City of Vancouver representing a wide range of sizes and quality. Some of the main venues include the following (most of which are also available for private rental):
- The Annex – a 193-seat city-operated theatre located at 823 Seymour Street.
- Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts – a facility with seating for up to 1850 at 777 Homer Street.
- Chan Centre – the performing arts centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The facilities include the 275-seat Telus Studio Theatre, 160-seat Royal Bank Cinema and 1,185-seat Chan Shun Concert Hall.
- The Cultch – the Historic Theatre is a 200-seat venue at 1895 Venables Street at what was formerly called the Vancouver East Cultural Centre which also operates the York Theatre at the same location.
- Firehall Arts Centre – a community arts centre that’s home to a 136 to 174-seat studio theatre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside at 280 East Cordova Street.
- Newmont Stage – a 250-seat Arts Club venue at the BMO Theatre Centre at 162 West 1st Avenue.
- Granville Island Stage – a 450-seat theatre located at 1585 Johnston Street on Granville Island.
- Havana Theatre – a tiny and simple theatre with about 60 seats at the back of the Havana Restaurant at 1212 Commercial Drive. The restaurant is a great Cuban-themed place to eat and the theatre is a good place for small shows and private rentals.
- The Improv Centre – a theatre venue at 1502 Duranleau Street on Granville Island that’s home to the Vancouver TheatreSports League which features live improv nightly.
- Norman Rothstein Theatre – a 318-seat theatre at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver at 950 West 41st Avenue. It’s also the main venue for the Chutzpah Festival each year in February and March.
- The Orpheum – a National Heritage Site and arguably one of the most beautiful concert halls in North America. It’s located at 601 Smithe Street and has seating for 2,672.
- Pacific Theatre – a small 134-seat theatre at 1440 West 12th Avenue.
- Performance Works – a 200-seat theatre on Granville Island at 1218 Cartwright Street.
- Queen Elizabeth Theatre – one of Vancouver’s main performing arts venues with seating for 2,765 and located at 650 Hamilton Street.
- Revue Stage – at 198-seat theatre on Granville Island at 1601 Johnston Street.
- Rio Theatre – a 420-seat theatre built in 1938 and located in East Vancouver at 1660 East Broadway.
- Roundhouse Community Arts Centre – a community centre in Yaletown with a 193-seat theatre.
- Scotiabank Dance Centre – the facility includes 6 dance studios plus a 7th which features retractable seating for up to 154 people at 677 Davie Street.
- SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Performing Arts – a facility with a 350-seat theatre located at 149 West Hastings Street and affiliated with Simon Fraser University.
- Stanley Industrial Stage – a 650-seat venue located at 2750 Granville Street.
- The Nest – a small 110-seat black box studio theatre at on Granville Island at 1398 Cartwright Street.
- Vancity Theatre – an upscale 170-seat theatre located at 1181 Seymour Street that’s home base to the Vancouver International Film Festival.
- Vancouver Playhouse – a city-owned 668-seat theatre located at 600 Hamilton Street.
- Vogue Theatre – an 1161-seat theatre built in 1941 and located at 918 Granville Street.
- Waterfront Theatre – a 240-seat performance venue located at 1412 Cartwright Street on Granville Island.
- York Theatre – a 1940s 375-seat art deco theatre at 1895 Venables Street.
Other Metro Vancouver Theatre Venues
Theatres in other parts of the Lower Mainland include the following:
- Michael J Fox Theatre – a 613-seat theatre venue at 7373 MacPherson Avenue in Burnaby.
- Shadbolt Centre of the Arts – a facility with a 120-seat theatre as well as a 285-seat theatre at 6450 Deer Lake Avenue.
- Evergreen Cultural Centre – a community facility with an art gallery and 150 to 257-seat theatre located at 1205 Pinetree Way.
- Chief Seapass Theatre – a 310-seat theatre connected with the Langley Fine Arts School at 9096 Trattle Street.
In Maple Ridge
- ACT Arts Centre – host to numerous events and home to a 486-seat proscenium-style theatre at 11944 Haney Place.
In New Westminster
- Massey Theatre – a 1260-seat proscenium theatre located at 735 Eighth Avenue.
In North Vancouver
- Centennial Theatre – the City of North Vancouver’s 658-seat facility at 2300 Lonsdale Avenue.
- Presentation House Theatre – a small 137-seat community hall-style theatre located at 333 Chesterfield Avenue.
- Deep Cove Shaw Theatre – a tiny 130-seat community theatre located at 4360 Gallant Avenue in the village of Deep Cove.
- BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts – the 372-seat theatre in the Birch Building at Capilano University.
In Port Moody
- Inlet Theatre – a 208-seat theatre located at 100 Newport Drive.
- Gateway Theatre – a venue that features a 540-seat Main Stage and 100-seat Studio at 6500 Gilbert Road.
- River Rock Casino Resort – a casino with a theatre that features comedy, touring bands and other shows at 8811 River Road.
- Bell Performing Arts Centre – a 1052-seat venue at 6250 – 144th Street.
- Surrey Arts Centre – a facility with a 402-seat Main Stage and smaller 129-seat Studio Theatre at 13750 – 88th Avenue.
In West Vancouver
- Kay Meek Centre – a performing arts facility with a 488-seat theatre at 1700 Mathers Avenue. (It’s right beside West Vancouver Secondary School.)
In White Rock
- White Rock Players Club – a 220-seat community theatre at 1532 Johnston Road.
Metro Vancouver Theatre Companies
Numerous theatre companies operate within Metro Vancouver including some with their own theatres listed above. Below are some of the region’s many theatre groups (and it’s not a complete list by any means!).
City of Vancouver Theatre Groups
- The Arts Club – a large theatre company with shows at the Stanley Industrial Stage on Granville Street, Granville Island Stage on Granville Island and the Newmont Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre at 162 West 1st Avenue.
- Bard on the Beach – a Shakespearean theatre company that performs under a big top from mid-June until mid-September at Vanier Park.
- Theatre Under the Stars – a theatre group that offers exceptional musicals outdoors at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl each summer.
- Touchstone Theatre – a theatre group that produces about three shows each year.
- United Players of Vancouver – a small community theatre group that operates out of the Jericho Arts Centre at 1675 Discovery Street.
- Vancouver Opera – an operatic society that performs out of various venues.
- Vancouver TheatreSports – a group that performs improv theatre at The Improve Centre on Granville Island.
Other Theatre Groups
- Deep Cove Stage Society – a small theatre group located in North Vancouver that puts on four or so shows each year.
- The Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society – a small theatrical group based out of Surrey.
- Gateway Theatre – a theatrical company in Richmond that produces about half a dozen shows each year.
- Presentation House Theatre – a community theatre group operating out of their small North Vancouver venue at 333 Chesterfield Avenue.
- Royal City Musical Theatre – a community theatre group that usually performs out of the Massey Theatre at 735 Eighth Avenue.
- Vagabond Players – a small community theatre group that operates out of the Bernie Legge Theatre in New Westminster’s Queens Park.
- Royal Canadian Theatre Company – a professional/semi-professional Surrey-based theatre group that puts on three or so shows per year.
- White Rock Players Club – a community theatre group based in White Rock.
Vancouver Theatre Festivals
The Lower Mainland hosts a number of theatrical festivals each year including the following:
- PuSh Festival – performing arts shows at various locations in mid-January.
- Chutzpah Festival – the Vancouver Jewish Performing Arts Festival that runs from mid-February to mid-March.
- Vancouver Fringe Festival – a live theatre festival in mid-September.
- Bard on the Beach – a Shakespearean theatre festival at Vanier Park that runs from early June until just after the middle of September.
For a list of Lower Mainland festivals of all kinds see the Festivals & Events Calendar.
For a list of shows taking place presently see the Shows & Entertainment Calendar or click any of the above theatre company or venue websites.