Businesses along Oak Bay Avenue remain open as renovations to modernize the 80-year-old Theatre building continue.

Family-owned heritage building renovation on the right track

Building renos keep structure true to form

Elizabeth Mears’ grandfather contracted to purchase the iconic theatre building in 1956, and now Mears is heading one of its biggest renovations.

Council approved construction on the Oak Bay Avenue heritage theatre building on June 9, and the permit started on June 16.

“The goal is to have everything done and perfect for the Oak Bay light up in November,” said Mears, general manager of Oak Bay Rental Investments, the company that owns the building.

So far construction is on schedule, something Mears said is rare after being a couple of months in.

“I am quite pleased with the fact that we’ve managed to stay on schedule,” she said, adding they are also still on budget.

The cost of the renovations is estimated at just under $750,000, yet Mears said it will look almost the same as when they started.

However, there will be some noticeable changes to the building’s appearance. The old pink and green colour scheme will be traded in for a more modern mocha colour with a black trim. The windows will be replaced so they will all match, and the Tudor details on the front of the building will be extended around the side and the back, said Mears.

One of the main reasons for the renovations is taking safety precautions with the old building.

“I am quite excited to get to the problems before they become a big problem,” said Mears. “I am looking forward to it being a warmer, more secure, sturdy place.”

Mears’ grandfather, who had been looking for a real estate office, obtained official ownership of the building in 1962.

Built in the 1930s, Mears said the building used to hold a dance club called Club Tango. Office spaces were added to the building in the 1960s when the dance club shut down.

The next major renovation took place in 1983, when Mears’ grandfather converted the theatre solely to office spaces.

“It’s an amazing opportunity that I was given to be able to run a business started by my grandfather,” said Mears. “[But] some days I think I’m too emotionally attached.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria was set for August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read