05 Oct

Getting Inside at Doors Open Vancouver

Doors Open Vancouver is an annual event put on by the City of Vancouver allowing people to visit city owned buildings and get a behind-the-scenes look. There are about eighteen locations involved for the day, ranging from theatres, to the public works yard, to the Stanley Park miniature train.

I visited two locations with my friend, Kai. We went for quality visits at two locations rather than trying to make it everywhere. We chose the Queen Elizabeth and Orpheum Theatres for our visits. Both theatres were set up for evening performances, which meant we got to see the set for Rigoletto at QE. Our timing was perfect to take part in a backstage tour as well and see the set up close.

Doors Open Vancouver
Lighting by Propellor Design

Doors Open Vancouver
The view from the stage

Doors Open Vancouver
The set for Rigoletto

Doors Open Vancouver

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre is modern while the Orpheum is more classic and full of ornate details from floor to ceiling. We chatting with an usher who has been working at the Orpheum for seventeen years, and knew much of the history of the place. She told us it was originally built as a vaudeville theatre in the 1920s.

Doors Open Vancouver
The spectacular view from the top tier seating

Doors Open Vancouver
Doors Open Vancouver
Plaster details along the walls near the stage

Doors Open Vancouver

Doors Open Vancouver
Doors Open Vancouver
Ornate patterned ceilings in the lobbies

I’ve visited both theatres for performances but it was nice to visit each location to see the building for its own sake. Next year I intend to go again and see other locations. I can’t wait.

© Rachael Ashe