Mixed-use Development at Heritage Dunbar Theater

An exciting plan to restore the Dunbar Theatre and integrate it into a mixed-use development, seamlessly blending residential and commercial spaces on the west side of Dunbar Street. Located in the Dunbar Southlands neighborhood of Vancouver and is made up of an assembly of 5 parcels: 4543-4586 Dunbar Street. The site is located on the southwest corner of Dunbar Street and West 30th Avenue and encompasses more than half of the city block on Dunbar Street between West 30th Avenue and West 29th Avenue.

View from Intersection of Dunbar and 30th Ave

The development calls for a 5-storey, which is within current development guidelines for C2, bridges the theatre with a mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units as well as some unique townhouses on the north of the theatre. The total floor area proposed is 57.010SF for a FSR of 2.89. Of the 45 units proposed, 42% are family sized. The unit breakdown is: (2) studios, (24) 2 bedrooms, (13) 3 bedrooms. This exceeds the target set in the City’s Housing Mix Policy

View of Street Elevation

The development aims to modernize the streetscape and create a vibrant community hub around Dunbar Theatre. At street level a coffee shop will be located along Dunbar on the south and a restaurant to the north, to provide before and after movie amenities. Loading will be through the back alley with 2 loading areas because of the theatre dividing the site into two separate commercial units. The residential floors occupy level 1 mezzanine to level 5, with the 5th floor pulled back to emphasize the light roof. The facade references the old-fashioned filmstrip as a continuous ribbon around the building.

Streetview Looking North Toward the Theatre Entrance

The pedestrian areas will have comfortable walking areas with benches, trees, and planting. The large spill out area of the theatre ensured that people could linger and converse after the movie and stay in the neighborhood area.

Our restoration efforts focus on reviving the original 1934 façade, keeping 14ft of the south concrete wall and as much of the facade as possible, however 1964 covered up much of this with metal panel. Signage will be restored and careful attention to lighting to bring a classy, refined look to the building. Upon entering the renovated Dunbar Theatre, visitors will be transported to a bygone era. The lobby will be transformed into a delightful space inspired by the 1930s, evoking a sense of nostalgia and charm.

Dunbar Theatre Facade

The integration of Dunbar Theatre into this transformative mixed-use development marks an exciting chapter in the revitalization of the west side of Dunbar. By preserving its history and meeting the community’s needs, we create a vibrant space that fosters connection. With a variety of homes, inviting amenities, and a renewed theatre’s heritage, the restored Dunbar Theatre will once again become a gathering place, bringing community spirit to all who visit.

With the Development Permit Application now underway, we are excited to share that progress is being made towards the revitalization of the Dunbar Theatre. Stay tuned for future updates as we continue to move forward with the project.