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Vancouver restaurant theatre welcomes first performances in over a year (VIDEO)

The show must go on. 🎭

Things were a little quieter than usual inside Havana Restaurant over the last year.

In addition to recent indoor dining restrictions, which have since lifted, the popular Commercial Drive establishment was forced to close its intimate performance space because of COVID-19.

But business is back.

Thanks to B.C.'s latest phase of the restart plan, unveiled on June 15, theatres and banquet halls in the province have reopened to the public with a limit of 50 people inside.

It's great news for Havana's managing director, Reuben Major.

"Performers throughout the city have had nowhere to perform over the last year or 16 months and so, in that case, we've got a ton of excitement from the performers' perspective and also from the audiences' perspective," says Major.

Tucked in the back of the restaurant, Havana's 60-seat theatre has been open since 1996 and averages over 500 performances a year. Currently, dividers and cabaret-style seating inside ensure social distancing, allowing space for about 30 people.

While the small theatre isn't yet operating at full capacity, Major says it's better than nothing.

"We would prefer to have more in there, but we're sort of looking at it as sort of a build-up to what's to come."

Major says Havana's doubled patio space is also helping business now that summer is here. 

Step 3 in the province's four-part restart plan will begin July 1 at the earliest.

After that, restaurants will have no caps on how many people are seated at one table indoors or outdoors (the limit is still six).