Agenda Index City of Vancouver



Standing Committee on Planning and Environment


Chief License Inspector


Civic Theatres: 649 Cambie and 865 Seymour Streets
Queen Elizabeth/Playhouse and Orpheum Theatres
Reclassification to Class ‘E’ Concert Halls





There is no Council policy covering this type of request.


Civic Theatres is requesting a Council resolution endorsing their request for a reclassification of the liquor licenses from Class ‘A’ Cultural Centres (Lounges) to Class ‘E’ Concert Halls at the Queen Elizabeth/Playhouse Theatres, 649 Cambie Street and the Orpheum Theatre, 865 Seymour Street.


Civic Theatres are currently licensed as Class ‘A’ Cultural Centres (Lounges), with liquor service hours of 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Monday to Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight on Sunday. In July 1995, the Liquor Control and Licensing Act was amended to permit the appropriate licensing of sports stadiums, convention centres and concert halls. The regulations permit sales between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., subject to restrictions by the General Manager, Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.

The Class ‘E’ category is event-driven and the public attends either to view or to participate in an event. The provincial Liquor Licensing Operating Manual defines a concert hall as: “a large room where the public gathers to view live performances of music, singing, dancing or acting. All types of liquor may be sold, subject to limitation by the general manager. All beverages are served in disposable containers, unless otherwise approved by the general manager. Minors are allowed to be present, subject to limitation by the general manager. Again, liquor service is event or activity specific and the seating area is not generally licensed for liquor service.”

Civic Theatres intend to separately license a number of different areas of each theatre. The Orpheum has four distinct areas and the Queen Elizabeth/Playhouse has 11 distinct areas.


The theatres are well-run facilities and have not caused alcohol related problems in the past. Staff suggests that conditions similar to other recently approved Class ‘E’ endorsements be included in these requests.

Recent endorsements have been granted to the Stanley Theatre, 2750 Granville and Tom Lee Music, 929 Granville.

The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch set the parameters of the hours of operation when the theatres can service alcohol within the endorsement conditions. The facilities can apply for temporary changes to the liquor license, requesting that for specific events the limitations on the license be waived. Liquor Branch procedures for these changes require that local government and the police department sign-off the request.

Staff feels that this is appropriate given the good operating history. The Director of Civic Theatres has indicated that this arrangement is suitable to the venues.


The Police Department has no concerns regarding this request.


This application is supported by the Chief License Inspector as no additional impacts are anticipated as a result of the theatres being licensed under Class ‘E’ Concert Hall liquor licenses.

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