The Burr Theatre Becomes The Columbia

A couple of weeks ago I was cruising along Columbia Street through downtown New Westminster and noticed a flurry of work going on around the Burr Theatre. I have long wondered what was happening with this iconic New West landmark so I wheeled into a parking spot, grabbed my camera and headed inside.

Lafflines at The Columbia
Lafflines at The Columbia

As soon as I got inside I met Mark Dinesen, Marketing Manager for The Columbia. Yes, the Burr Theatre will once again be The Columbia.

Inside and upstairs in The Columbia on Level 2 will be Lafflines. As the name suggests, there will be a comedy venue. This will be a separate business inside The Columbia.



Lafflines Level 2
Lafflines Level 2

Lafflines is currently located up Columbia Street and around the corner on 4th Ave. Once Level 2 of The Columbia is ready, Lafflines will make their move. From what I can gather, that move is actually imminent.



Also inside The Columbia will be a large open space they are calling The Grand Room.

The Grand Room
The Grand Room

This room can be rented by community groups, businesses who want to host an event, weddings and wedding receptions or any other event like … say an indoor circus. In fact, the Vancouver Circus School has already had discussions with The Columbia about putting on shows in the theatre.

The cool thing about this room is that it can be configured to hold any of the events that I mentioned above.

Another inspiring thing about the work going on inside The Columbia is the honour and respect that is being paid to the heritage factor.

The Grand Room
The Grand Room


The murals on the walls are being protected, the gold detail paint is being repaired and the posts that need to be replaced are being replaced.

Although when I was inside The Columbia, it looked more like a construction zone than a theatre, the inside of The Columbia is going to look incredibly beautiful. The attention to detail is exceptional.

View From Backstage
View From Backstage



Perhaps my favourite part of The Columbia is that just inside the main entrance is another venue. It is “the bar.” When I asked what it is going to be called Mark Dinesen said that they were not too sure at that point.

Inspiration came to me … I said, “Why not call it Ironside’s, in honour of Raymond Burr?” Mark said he would take that suggestion to the management team and see what they thought of it. His initial impression was pretty positive though.

Tomorrow I will try and get back inside The Columbia to see what progress has been made since I was last inside. I’m pretty sure that the changes will be noticeable.

For more pictures of the detailed work going into The Columbia, visit their webpage. They also show a photo of the carpet that will be going on the floor. Very plush and classy looking. As I say, I am going to try and get back into The Columbia tomorrow. More pics soon.





3 responses to “The Burr Theatre Becomes The Columbia”

  1. Caitlyn James Avatar

    Ironside (just one!) 😉

    Although, I was a Perry Mason fan myself.

  2. stacey Avatar

    Apostrophe added… Ironside’s.

  3. stacey Avatar

    I corrected the link to The Columbia now; as well, I have a couple new photos of the interior that I will share a little later this evening.

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