The second biggest shopping mall in Richmond after Richmond Centre, Lansdowne Centre is an older mall with the largest parking lot in all of Vancouver.
(Note: Because of COVID-19 most events at the mall likely won’t be happening in 2021, at least not early in the year and until the pandemic comes better under control.)
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Click on any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the shopping centre and its various seasonal events.
Lansdowne Centre Shopping Mall
Lansdowne Centre is a pretty typical large-scale 1970s mall. It has big box anchor stores at each corner and a hundred plus stores in between.
Built in the late 1970s, the mall has over 130 stores including a Winners, Toys R Us, Home Outfitters, Best Buy and a T&T (Asian-style) Supermarket.
What makes the mall of special interest is the fact that it hosts a number of special events each year.
Mall Location and Hours
Located at 5300 No.3 Road, close to the Lansdowne SkyTrain Station, Lansdowne Centre is bordered by Alderbridge Road to the north and Lansdowne Road to the south.
The mall’s regular weekday hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 am to 6 pm and Wednesdays to Fridays from 10 am to 9 pm.
On most Saturdays throughout the year the mall is open from 9:30 am to 6 pm and on Sundays and holidays from 11 am to 6 pm.
Events at the Mall
Most years, in either January or February, Lansdowne Centre offers Chinese New Year entertainment on a weekend. 2020 celebrates the Year of the Rat at the end of January.
Over the school Spring Break holidays each year, the mall’s giant parking lot is often taken over by a chalk art festival with a carousel and train that can be ridden. In the summer, the parking lot becomes home to free weekly outdoor movies.
See below for details about each of these seasonal special events.
Chinese New Year at Lansdowne Centre
Lansdowne Centre celebrates the Lunar New Year in January or February with a traditional Lion Dance and afternoon of live entertainment.
In 2020 Chinese New Year’s Day was on Saturday, January 25th, and the mall’s main New Year’s celebrations took place the following day, on Sunday, January 26th. In 2021 the Year of the Ox begins on February 12th. Because of COVID-19, however, there likely won’t be much in the way of large in-person celebrations.
Chinese New Year celebrations at the mall usually run from around 12:30 until 4:30 pm or so and feature performances by various local performing arts groups.
The event is usually hosted by the Richmond Chinese Community Society. Activities include visits from the Money God, lion dancing, Chinese opera performances, Taiko Japanese drumming, taekwondo demonstrations and artists making art.
Chinese New Year Event Schedule
Below was the performance schedule for 2020.
- 12:30 pm – Opening Ceremonies and dotting of the lion’s eyes
- 1:30 pm – Rod Boss Stage Magic Show
- 2:00 pm – Korean Taekwondo Performance
- 2:30 pm – Chinese Opera
- 3:00 pm – Chinese Folk Dance Performance
- 3:30 pm – Irish Folk Dance
- 4:00 pm – Okinawa Style Drumming and Dancing
Click Chinese New Year for information about all the many Lunar New Year celebrations that take place in Metro Vancouver most years, including at Lansdowne Centre.
Spring Carnival at the Mall
Most years during Spring Break in March WCA Amusements sets up its rides and carnival midway in the parking lot of Lansdowne Centre. However in 2020, there was going to be a smaller scale event featuring a circus train and a carousel. It was going to run from March 14th until April 26th. In the end though, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it got cancelled.
In previous years, the Spring Carnival was a medium-sized fair with the typical assortment of rides, vendors selling candy floss and midway games. There was usually a Ferris wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, kiddy rides and the usual selection of rides that went up and down and round and round. Kids and youth loved it!
Carnival Hours and Rates
Hours of operation for the rides in 2019 were the following (weather permitting):
- Fridays and Saturdays (March 15, 16, & 23): noon until 11 pm (but noon until 10 pm on March 22)
- Monday to Thursday (March 18-21): noon until 10 pm
- Sundays: noon until 10 pm on March 17 and from noon until 7 pm on March 24
Ticket prices in 2019 were the following (which were the same as the previous year):
- Single Tickets: $1.25 each
- Book of 20: $23 (so $1.15 each)
- Book of 40: $45 (so $1.125 each)
Individual rides last year cost between 3 and 7 coupons each (so between $3.38 and $8.75 per ride). All-day wristbands were also available for $40, which made them the best value-for-money for people wanting to stay and ride all day.
TIP #1: Lineups for rides were usually smallest at the beginning of the day and, obviously, on rainy days.
TIP #2: During Spring Break most years PlayDome also features amusement rides indoors at BC Place Stadium. PlayDome didn’t take place in 2019 or 2020. Hopefully it will again in 2021 and/or 2022.
Click Spring Break to learn about March activities for kids elsewhere.
Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movies
Numerous outdoor movies take place in the Lower Mainland during the summer each year. Most are free and they take place everywhere from parks to shopping malls to convention centres and municipal plazas.
Each summer Lansdowne Centre hosts a weekly evening outdoor movie in its parking lot. It’s one of the region’s free drive-in-style movie venues where people are welcome to watch from their cars or bring their lawn chairs. The shows didn’t take place in 2020, because of COVID-19. They have taken place every year before that for a number of years though, and hopefully they’ll happen again in the future.
Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movies at Lansdowne Centre takes place on Wednesday evenings and features free drive-in parking for up to 200 vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis. There is always lots of space for people to set up and watch from their lawn chairs too.
Similar to free outdoor movies at other venues, films featured at Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movie nights are usually popular films that are no longer showing in major theatres.
In 2019 people got to vote for what film they wanted shown. Voting closed on June 16th and after that the 2019 lineup was announced.
2019 Starlight Theatre Movies
Here’s what showed for free at dusk on Wednesday evenings in 2019:
- July 3rd, 2019 – Crazy Rich Asians
- July 10th, 2019 – Ocean’s 8
- July 17th, 2019 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
- July 24th, 2019 – The Notebook
- July 31st, 2019 – Batman: The Dark Knight (starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger)
- August 7th, 2019 – Aquaman
- August 14th, 2019 – Shazam!
- August 21st, 2019 – Detective Pikachu
- August 28th, 2019 – Inception
Some weeks the Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movie feature presentation is perfect for kids and their families, and other days it’s more for adults and people who like action films (in some cases) or romance flicks (in other cases). Over the course of the summer there is always something for everyone!
For a list of dozens of free summer films at other locations, click Vancouver Outdoor Movies.
For more information about the mall, click Lansdowne Centre.
Other shopping places of interest in the summer include the Richmond Night Market.
Other topics of interest you might want to check out include the following:
- Best Places for Shopping
- The City of Richmond
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Chinese New Year Activities
- Summer Outdoor Movies
- Vancouver at Spring Break
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver for Children