Illustrated Vancouver Vol 28 – Theatre Under the Stars


Due to the popularity of this post over at Illustrated Vancouver this weekend, I thought I should re-post yesterday’s image here as well. For your nostalgic enjoyment, I present a Theatre Under the Stars souvenir program from 1945.

The Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park is featured prominently on the cover, though I regret to say I don’t know the name of the artist responsible for the offset lithographic illustration. About the Malkin Bowl, from wikipedia:

The Marion Malkin Memorial Bowl, or Malkin Bowl, is an outdoor theatre in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Built in 1934, it was originally a two-thirds-size replica of the Hollywood Bowl. Allard de Ridder, then conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, was largely responsible for convincing W. H. Malkin, a former mayor of Vancouver, to build the theatre as a summer concert venue for the VSO. Malkin endowed the theatre in memory of his wife.

And for more of a background on Theatre Under the Stars, I turn to their website to learn more:

In 1940, Theatre Under the Stars started when a group of local theatre people formed to produce professional quality musicals during the summer. Since then, TUTS has been a Lower Mainland tradition, delighting generations of locals and tourists alike under the stars in the pastoral outdoor setting of historic Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park…

Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) produced operettas and musicals 1940-63 at the Malkin Bowl. The original TUTS was founded under the auspices of the Vancouver Park Board by board superintendent A.S. Wootten, conductor Basil Horsfall and actor E.V. Young, with advice from Gordon Hilker, to provide entertainment in Stanley Park in Malkin Bowl, which was a band shell for summer concerts. In the 1930s attempts had been made by Young and Stanley Bligh to establish outdoor theatre at Brockton Oval, and these ventures set the precedent for TUTS. After TUTS’ first season (which opened 6 Aug 1940 and presented The Geisha, the plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It, and selections from grand opera), its program was devoted mainly to operettas (The Firefly, Rose Marie, The Red Mill, Naughty Marietta and others)…

Things came to a temporary end for the original Theatre Under the Stars group in 1963, but they’ve made a number of comebacks, as described below:

In its 24 summers, the original TUTS had contributed greatly to the Vancouver scene and assisted significantly in the development of many performers’ careers. Then in 1969 a new theatre company, Theatre in the Park, began presenting two musicals a season. The company renamed itself to Theatre Under the Stars in 1980. In 1982 a fire destroyed part of Malkin Bowl but the company was able to survive and rebuild the damaged outdoor theatre and continued presenting musical theatre through to 2006, when Theatre Under the Stars took a season off to regroup then returned in 2007 presenting Oklahoma! and Grease to sell-out crowds…

You’ve all got just under TWO MORE WEEKS of shows you can catch at Theatre Under the Stars, so don’t delay! Get yourself to the Malkin Bowl, pronto! And with that, I hope you’ve all had a fabulous BC Day long weekend!

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