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Here's why so many movies are filmed at the historic Marine Building in Vancouver

This unique Vancouver building has caught the eye of many Hollywood North film sets.

At a time one of the tallest buildings in the British Empire, this unique Vancouver building attracts numerous art and history lovers and film sets. 

The Marine Building, located at 355 Burrard Street, is an art deco masterpiece. It opened on Oct. 7, 1930, and reigned as the tallest skyscraper in Vancouver for nine years.

The tower replaced an old mansion from the days when the area, a place where rich people settled before the West End and Shaughnessy Heights were developed, was known as "Blueblood Alley." 

The building was originally intended to be two storeys high, but as the city's economy boomed, plans were revised for a 10, then 20, and finally a 22 storey building. 

Though the first few floors of the Marine Building are open to the public, back then there was a 25 cent admission price. Visitors were greeted by uniformed doormen who opened the massive brass doors leading into the lobby, and sailor-suited women ushered folks into elevators– back then the fastest elevators in the city. 

During the Great Depression, most Vancouverites couldn't afford to pay 25 cents and the public viewing deck was soon closed. The building was sold at a loss to the Guinness family for $900,000 (the Marine Building cost $2.3 million to build).

Movies and TV shows filmed at the Marine Building

The Marine Building's detailed, decorative design is a beautiful sight and one that catches the eye of many Hollywood North film sets.

The building's architects, John McCarter and George Nairne, said that the building was intended to evoke "some great crag rising from the sea, clinging with sea flora and fauna, tinted in sea-green, touched with gold."

Visitors can spot intricately carved fish, sea horses, crabs, seaweeds, and a King Neptune, while the walls are inlaid with 12 varieties of local hardwoods. The design is also famed for its ornamented brick curtain walls, art deco style reliefs, and the use of terra cotta trim. 

The Marine Building's intricate architecture can be spotted in a number of movies and TV series, from superhero shows like The Flash to movies like Fantastic Four.

These are all the movies and TV shows that filmed at this historic landmark:

  • The Flash
  • Smallville
  • Lucifer
  • The Magicians
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
  • Timeless
  • Fantastic Four
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
  • Batwoman
  • Blade: Trinity
  • Caprica
  • Fairly Legal
  • Watchmen
  • Timecop
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Altered Carbon
  • Backstrom
  • Life or Something Like It
  • Powerless