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Vancouver’s Metro Theatre

Murder by Misadventure at Metro Theatre

Metro Theatre is a really good, community-driven theatre company in South Vancouver. It has put on shows featuring local artists for over half a century.


Metro Theatre in South Vancouver

Metro Theatre isn’t one of the biggest Theatres in Vancouver. It seats around 300 people and puts on mostly smaller productions. It’s a community theatre venue similar to (but smaller than) places like the Massey Theatre in New Westminster, Gateway Theatre in Richmond and Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver.

You won’t see large touring Broadway productions here. What you will see, however, is a variety of great shows with local actors and/or writers and directors. We’ve been to a few plays at the theatre and really enjoyed them.

Community theatre can be lots of fun and really good! And they can feature famous plays too. Productions at Metro Theatre in past recent seasons have included Steel Magnolias, an Alice in Wonderland pantomime, Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Cinderella, among many others.

Along with the main auditorium the building has the Metro Theatre Lounge which is really nice, licensed and seats over 60 people. There you can enjoy a drink before or after a show, plus maybe have a chat with a member of the cast or crew.

That kind of community atmosphere is what Metro Theatre is all about. There are many volunteers who put their time into helping run the venue and put on performances. The theatre company itself is a non-profit organization.


Inside the Metro Theatre


Location and Prices

The Metro Theatre Centre’s address is 1370 SW Marine Drive in South Vancouver. It’s in an industrial area close to the Arthur Laing Bridge on the other side of the Fraser River from Richmond.

Shows at the theatre usually take place on Thursdays to Sundays each week, with some weekend matinees and no performances on Mondays or Tuesdays. There are sometimes Wednesday performances, but not for every show. Tickets typically cost around $35 to $45 for adults and about $5 less for seniors and children (or at least that was the case the last time we checked).

For those who want to help support the theatre further you can become a VIP Member. The membership costs $20 per year and includes benefits such as discounts on tickets as well as the ability to attend special events like Directors Talks. It also allows you to have a say at the Metro’s Annual General Meeting.


About the Theatre

Metro Theatre is a small theatre, but a nice little one. Most of the seats are on the main floor which slopes down, like most theatre auditoriums do, but not with a steep slope. If you’re short, you might want to use a booster cushion, especially if someone tall sits in front of you. The seats are cushioned and comfortable.

Upstairs there is a balcony with an additional couple of rows of seating. Also upstairs is the lounge which is lovely. It’s attractively decorated with old photos of Metro Theatre actors and past plays.

The lounge is where you can buy snacks and alcoholic beverages. When we went most snack-type concession items cost $3, a glass of wine was $9 and beers cost between about $5 and $8. Alcohol can only be consumed upstairs, in the lounge, and no food or beverages are permitted in the theatre itself.


Vancouver's Metro Theatre
Metro Theatre on Marine Drive


History of Metro Theatre

The Metro Theatre Centre was originally a cinema all the way back in the 1930s before falling into disuse by the 60s. That’s when the city gave multiple local theatre companies a grant to combine forces to create a new live theatre centre.

Soon after it got off the ground the Metro became an independent company and the venue was quite successful in the following years until the government took away its annual grant in the late 70s. While it initially looked like the centre might shutter its doors, private funding sprang up to save it and the Metro continued to produce theatre.

Since then the Metro has continued to operate as its own entity without city or provincial support. It relies instead on the support of those in the community and its many volunteers who commit their time to help the theatre run.


Improv Centre


Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your experience at Metro Theatre.

TIP #1: Arrive early as the theatre’s parking lot fills up. There is also a pay parking lot below the viaduct/bridge, but you have to pay via your phone as there is no credit card machine. There is also a fair bit of on-street parking in the area. Unless you arrive early, however, you might have to walk a ways.

TIP #2: Enjoy a drink in the Metro Theatre Lounge. This way, you are supporting live theatre and relaxing in a unique setting that you won’t get in a nearby restaurant.

TIP #3: The seats are quite tall and each row is only very slightly lower than the one behind it. People who are shorter in stature might have a challenge seeing over the seat in front of them. At the back of the theatre, you can find free “booster” cushions to prop you up so you can see better. Children aren’t the only ones that use them.

TIP #4: The theatre is in an industrial area surrounded by on-ramps, off-ramps and other roadway infrastructure (because it’s where SW Marine Drive connects with the Arthur Laing Bridge). There are few food and drink options in the immediate neighbourhood. If you plan to go out for dinner, go early somewhere else. If you want drinks before your play, enjoy them in the theatre’s lounge which usually opens about an hour before show time.


Other Information

For more information about the venue, visit the Metro Theatre Centre website.

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