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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding the significance of a neighbourhood movie theatre as a cultural resource Bennett, Tammy Lynne


The Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) is in an era of growth, fundamental change, and reexamination of regional and local quality of life. Within this context, the complete community policies of the Livable Region Strategic Plan have been developed to help achieve a region where human community flourishes within the built and natural environment. The complete communities concept provides people with broader diversity in the physical and social elements of community - houses, travel, workplaces, social contacts, public services, recreation activities, shops and personal services (GVRD, 1995). By allowing this diversity, people will have a wider range of choices for urban living. In recent years, municipalities in the GVRD have begun to recognize that cultural resources are integral to the overall health, vitality and livability of the region. The role of culture and cultural resources in maintaining and enhancing the region's livability is acknowledged in two of the complete community policies. Cultural resources are the "things" which give a neighbourhood, a city, or region its particular sense of time and place and they are the expressions of what that place is. The conservation of cultural resources to a community provides a means of making a neighbourhood, city or region more aesthetically pleasing, and thus more livable. Neighbourhood movie theatres, for example, are one of the many types of buildings with cultural significance which may contribute to a community's character, quality of life and foster a sense of pride for residents in Vancouver communities. Neighbourhood movie theatres have been an essential component of the movie-going experience for the citizens of Vancouver since the 1930s. The purpose of this thesis is to ascertain whether cultural resources, such as a movie theatre, contribute to a complete community. Through both a literature review and case study approach, the research sought to understand the significance of cultural resources, such as a movie theatre, to a community. The thesis focuses on the case study of the Hollywood Theatre in Kitsilano to explore how a local cultural resource contributes to the community. A survey was designed and administered to 60 patrons of the Hollywood Theatre. The study concludes that the patrons of the Hollywood Theatre indicated that the theatre contributes to the vitality, and livability of the community. The prospects for achieving complete communities in established neighbourhoods will be influenced by local perspectives on growth, and change. Complete community objectives and strategies may be accepted locally to the degree they are seen as a means to achieve community aspirations and improve the quality of life of residents.

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