Originally Posted by itinerant
I was involved peripherally at a very early stage in the Pantages project, and I visited the theatre before stabilisation was started and before the roof opened it up to the elements this last time. The people involved worked extremely hard to get this project going and the developer was basically bending over backwards to make it an attractive proposal for everyone concerned. They were looking for relatively small support from the city (financially and by way of endorsement), but it was not forthcoming. It is extremely unfortunate and sadly says a lot about the city's inconsistent performance with respect to supporting the arts and heritage.
There are many worthy projects, and only so much money to go around, but when a developer wades smack into the middle of the worst neighbourhood in Canada with a good proposal to lift it up with a healthy mix of cultural amenity, market husing and non-market community housing--that's just depressing.
Yeah, it's like we WANT to keep the DTES the way it is; when an opportunity to do something positive comes by, it's not taken seriously, especially if it has a significant contribution from the private sector (they're always up to no good, I guess?). Look how long Woodwards took to get off the ground.
It would have been a great fringe theater and could have done the area some good, seeing as hipsters and scenesters aren't that scared of venturing into the DTES for some nightlife. And it's not everyday an opportunity comes along to save a building that is over 100 years old in this city.
P.S. it probably would have been a great Set for movie/tv productions as almost every production seems to visit the Orpheum or Vogue.