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Brian Croft

Theatre Row - 1962

1,374 views 2 years ago
Visit www.briancroft.com
A painting like this can be a daunting undertaking. Research provides the answers to much of the required detail. Archived back issues of the Vancouver Sun's entertainment section, provided the information on the entertainment scene, thus the movie titles that appear on the marquees are as accurate as possible. I used more than a hundred researched images to add detail upon tiny detail. The 1962 Vancouver City Directory was consulted to identify the names of business on Granville allowing me to add signs and neon where even photographs do not exist. My brush strokes were guided by this research up to the point where all sources were exhausted. Only then did I employ artistic license to achieve a finished work. There are two intentional errors that I have purposely allowed: Harrison's Ltd. at 834 Granville was closed in 1962 as was Veno Credit Jewellers at 829 Granville; I decided to keep the wonderful neon lights of these business blazing in my painting. The White Lunch with its three dimensional and animated neon Tea Cup Sign will bring back many memories; . I filled the street with all of the cars I wanted to own but never could afford and then added the crowds of people that created the lifeblood of the street. I included two BCHydro Brill trolly buses working in opposing directions down Granville Street. The sidewalks are a scene unto themselves. A Vancouver legend, Foncie Pulce stands outside the Capital Theatre. Between 1946 and 1976 Foncie photographed us having fun with his innovative Electric Photograph stand; many Vancouverites have memories of him if not a photograph of themselves as they blinked in the glare of his flash bulb. It was such a delight to light-up Granville Street's theatre marquees once again casting them against a brooding night sky and I simply couldn't resist creating mirrored reflections in the pavement suggesting the recent passage of a September evening shower. I painted red and blue neon clock on top of the Belmont Hotel, placing the clocks hands at 7:20; this is actually between shows at most theatres and so, rather than depicting line-ups, I painted patrons checking out marquees and grabbing a quick supper at the countless cafes.

I can only hope all of these brush strokes take you back to that special time in your past when, with ten bucks in your pocket, and a special person by your side, Theatre Row on Granville was a night on the town. Yet this painting is just part of Vancouver's night scene. The main nightspots are in full swing; xxxxxxis performing at the Palomar Supper Club, Those Damn Yankies, a full broadway production, is at the Cave. Later in the month the Queen Elizabeth hosts Sammy Davis Jr., Katherine Dunham in Bamboche and the Limelighters. On Granville, The Aristocrat with its distinctive neon sign dominates the cafes and eateries but a few miles further south, at Granville and 67th Avenue, White Spot was the place-to-go if you had serious dining plans. It was a "must-do" kind of thing for performers and celebrities after The Cave, The Palomar and other showrooms closed. Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Wayne and Schuster, Dennis Day, Mary Livingstone, Henry Mancini, Robert Goulet, Van Johnson, Dal Richards, Mel Torme and a host of others gravitated to the south end of Granville for a taste of White Spot restaurant excellence. And if you were heading home by car, the Aristocratic Drive-ins beckoned. Show less
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