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Time Traveller: This former North Vancouver theatre went from hosting children's birthdays to showing adults-only films

The Cedar Theatre in Lynn Valley operated from 1953 to 1971
Time Traveller (for Feb17)WEB

This photo from 1971 shows the Cedar Theatre in Lynn Valley prior to its demolition on Oct. 31, 1971. 

The 437-seat theatre opened in May 1953 as the "Cedar V Theatre." The family-run theatre was in a Quonset hut building at 1260 Lynn Valley Rd. and was owned and operated by Stephen Chizen. His wife, Jean, was the theatre’s cashier.

The theatre was equipped with a crying room – a special soundproof room that allows parents with young children to view the movie without disturbing the other patrons.

The Cedar V screened mainstream Hollywood films and on Saturdays offered a double-bill matinee that was half-price for kids. Saturdays were when the theatre would host its “Birthday Break” between features. If it happened to be your birthday, you were called up to the stage, given a prize, and everyone would sing Happy Birthday. Needless to say, this was very popular with the local children.

Curiously, in its final years, the theatre changed course and screened restricted adult films until it closed in 1971.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to learn about MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, opening in 2021.

Currently, the Archives of North Vancouver at 3203 Institute Rd. in Lynn Valley is open by appointment only. Contact: