ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                           Date: January 28, 1997

   TO:       Vancouver City Council

   FROM:     Director of Civic Theatres

   SUBJECT:  Asbestos Abatement - Queen Elizabeth Theatre/Vancouver
             Playhouse complex.


        THAT Council approve capital funds not to exceed $580,000, in
        advance of approval of the 1997 Capital Plan Budget, for removal of
        asbestos impregnated materials in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and
        Vancouver Playhouse Lobbies.  Source of funds to be the 1997-1999
        Capital Plan.


   The City Manager recommends approval of the foregoing.

   There is no policy directly related to this subject.

   The 1997-1999 Capital Plan includes funding for Civic Theatres of
   $850,000 which includes $500,000 for asbestos removal in the Queen
   Elizabeth Theatre and $350,000 for expansion of women s washroom
   facilities at the Orpheum.


   This report requests approval of capital funds in the amount of $390,000
   for removal of asbestos-impregnated ceiling finishes from the Main and
   Mezzanine Lobbies of the QET and an additional $190,000 to remove the
   same kind of finishes from the Playhouse Main and Upper Lobbies.


   The Queen Elizabeth Theatre was completed in 1959, the Vancouver
   Playhouse in 1962.  Typically for that time, many of the ceilings in the
   complex were textured with a material that contains asbestos fibres.

   During 1993, 1994 and 1995 cracks and bubbles began to appear in some of
   ceilings, indicating delamination.  In the QET upper lobby, some patches
   collapsed and were cosmetically repaired.  The ceilings of two dressing
   rooms in the Playhouse collapsed - they were stripped and refinished. 
   An area of one lower lobby in the QET collapsed - it was stripped and
   refinished.  The ceiling of one of the star dressing rooms in the QET
   collapsed and all of the others were noted to be delaminating - they
   were stripped and refinished.

   As a result of the progressive failure of these ceilings, a specialist
   consultant was asked to advise on the situation.  The analysis indicated
   that deterioration of the bond between the textured asbestos-containing
   layer and the plaster layer above it was underway.  The upper lobby
   ceiling of the QET was deemed to be the highest risk.  Accordingly,
   funds were allocated from Supplementary Capital and that ceiling was
   removed in the summer of 1995.


   Queen Elizabeth Theatre

   A spontaneous collapse in a main public area of the theatre would
   trigger closure of the theatre until abatement and remedial work is
   completed.  In such a case, liability is not limited to the cost of
   abatement, disposal of carpeting and the cost of remedial finishes. 
   Closure of the theatre would catastrophically impact a Licensee with a
   show running.  Gross ticket sales for a standard 8-performance week in
   the QET can exceed $1.2 million per week.  Based on the 1995 upper lobby

   ceiling removal, the theatre would be closed for at least 3 weeks, even
   working around the clock. 

   The Main and Mezzanine Lobbies are the most critical areas as all
   entrances to the auditorium open off these lobby areas.   There are
   asbestos ceilings also in the Lower East and West Lobbies, but these
   areas are relatively self-contained and we believe that a collapse there
   could be contained without closing the theatre.  Similarly, there is one
   remaining backstage room, the QET Rehearsal Hall, with an asbestos
   ceiling; this room can also be separately contained.

   The extent of the areas affected (12,500 sq. Ft.) and the height of many
   of the ceilings will require closing the theatre for an estimated period
   of 6 weeks, based on no scheduled overtime.  There is time in the coming
   summer to complete the removal of the designated textured ceilings
   without impacting theatre bookings and without incurring premium labour
   rates.  Advance bookings for 1998 and subsequent years may not offer
   such an opportunity for closure.

   Vancouver Playhouse

   Although the Capital Planning Team did not recommend the Playhouse
   Theatre project as part of the 1997-1999 Plan, the consultant advises
   that we should be equally concerned about spontaneous collapse of
   asbestos-containing ceiling finishes there and he has encouraged us to
   include the Playhouse in this application.  The Playhouse has a number
   of areas with asbestos textured ceilings; the Main and Upper Lobbies,
   the Recital Hall and Green Room and all but two of the Dressing Rooms. 
   As with the QET, only failure of the Lobby ceilings (6,000 sq. Ft.)
   would cause closure of the theatre.  The other rooms can all be

   Project Timing

   The project is estimated to require 6 weeks for removal and remedial
   work which is available in the QET from June 2 to July 20, 1997 and from
   July 7 in the Playhouse.


   QET Main and Mezzanine Lobbies; removal and 
   remedial work where necessary including 
   electrical, mechanical and life-safety systems:   $390,000

   Playhouse Main and Upper Lobbies:                 $190,000

   TOTAL for both:                                   $580,000

   Although there are always unknowns involved in renovations, we believe
   these estimates allow adequate contingency and are conservative. To the
   extent that the final cost exceeds the $500,000 budgeted in the Capital
   Plan, it is recommended to fund the excess from the $350,000 budgeted
   for the Orpheum washroom expansion.


   Capital funds are requested, in advance of budget approval, to remove
   delaminating asbestos-impregnated lobby ceiling finishes in the Queen
   Elizabeth Theatre/Vancouver Playhouse complex.  The time needed is
   available in June and July 1997, without impacting bookings.  Estimated
   cost of the project is: QET - $390,000; Playhouse - $190,000.

                   *    *    *    *    *