Oct 19 2006

Storyeum is history

Was it historical inevitability, or just a bad business plan that finally killed Vancouver’s Storyeum?

Storyeum closed its doors today, pretty much putting an end to its saga of bankruptcy protection and deflated investment.

I enjoyed visiting our city’s fine live performance of BC history on three occasions. Unfortunately, not very many other people did.

Fifty-five actors were given their pink slips – hopefully they can pick up some work on the Fantastic Four sequel. My sincere sympathies go out to those guys: they could perform a full-on musical production smiling triumphantly all the while with only four people in the room to witness the spectacle.

Now that the place is officially boarded up, investors are going to stay as far away as possible from this train wreck. The production is millions of dollars in debt, including $5 million in rent to Vancouver City Hall. That’s a lot of bad debt for a non-sports venue to rack up in two years – not including the $22 million it cost to build the thing.

Storyeum was a visionary project and potentially a great anchoring landmark for Gastown. Whatever happens, I hope the building doesn’t stay vacant for long. There are enough boarded-up windows for the whole city in that neighborhood already.

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