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Orpheum Theatre: Tour and Photo-op of the Grand Old Lady

  • Aug 31, 2013 · 12:45 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

The Canadian Register of Historic Places begins the description of the historic value of the Orpheum with "...built by the Chicago-based Orpheum Circuit and the largest and most extravagant theatre on the Pacific Coast. It exemplified the faith of the company in the metropolitan growth of Vancouver and it became a symbol of Vancouver’s progress." Slated for demolition in the 1970s, it was saved by the city of Vancouver and citizens, was restored and renewed, and to-day is home to choirs, the VSO, dance and varied music performances.

The Orpheum Theatre Vancouver B.C. by Dan Rickard

The tour will be shortened to about 45 minutes and will be conducted by Rob Haynes of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame (we might be split in 2 or 3 groups) who will tell us stories and history of the theater, and afterwards we will be allowed to roam freely (within reason) and photograph the spaces for about 2 hours. We will get to tour the lobby, the theatre, the back-stage, the mezzanines and the control rooms where we will get a change to photograph grand staircases, colonnades, arcades, murals, and other details in Baroque and Moorish revival styles, such as golden ornament, plasterwork, stonework, coffer ceilings and many crystal chandeliers.

Orpheum Theater14 by Christopher Gruver

Bring a tripod and a wide angle lens too, to capture the grandeur of some of the spaces. You can even bring a flash.

The Walk-about
We'll meet at the Smithe St. entrance (601 Smithe St, corner Seymour) at 12:45am sharp. This will give us time to group before the tour which begins at 1:00pm.

There is a public tour at 11am. Starting our tour at 1pm will ensure we have the place to ourselves, as per Mr. Haynes' suggestion, which I think can be good for us.

The cost is a $10 donation per person, which goes to the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. Please bring cash. If you are enthusiastic about this tour and RSVP, please do your best to show as we have committed to the number of attendees with Mr. Haynes.

After the photo-op, we'll meet at Caffè Artigiano (763 Hornby Street) at 4:00pm (ish) to get a cuppa and share conversation and our images.


The Aim
The function of the group is to learn and practice the techniques of photography. This involves learning photography not only from your guides but also by sharing knowledge with your group-mates. The intention is also to organize and get to know new people. The attendant size of the meets will be small so participants can have the opportunity to get to know all their group-mates and spend time with a guide. If you select to attend a meet and then cannot make it, please be courteous to others in the group and change your RSVP status as soon as possible to allow others who might be on the waiting list the chance to participate.

The Après-Meet
Please feel comfortable in posting your photographs and advising others; critical appraisal is helpful. What will also be appreciated are ratings and, especially, comments to individual meets and the group dynamic as a whole. This is important because it will ultimately add value to our meetings and improve our experience.

Join or login to comment.

  • Dionysios

    Hi folks, thank you for the wonderful photographs.

    A few haven't posted any and I think we'd all still would like to see what you've captured, your insights even.

    So, Waseem, Jeannie, Doris, Judy, Elfi, Alan, Michelle, Azim, Yosri, Sun, show us your stuff! Make us smile and ponder.

    Cheers, D.

    1 · September 17, 2013

    • Dionysios

      We're trying to find a date, for just a photo-op, before the end of the year. The fall-winter season is the busiest; week-ends might be tougher; maybe on a week-day.

      September 18, 2013

    • Candy

      Sounds good! Can't wait! Thanks Dionysios!

      September 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Dionysios for this opportunity. Very well organized. I will be happy to participate to another workshop like this one.

    September 4, 2013

  • Michelle C.

    first meetup with this great group! and very organized. Right on time too. Lots of creativities. will look forward to more..meetup.

    September 2, 2013

  • Dionysios

    I've seen some stunning colors and fun movement in the photographs, and very interesting discoveries! Folks, keep them coming!

    I think some would also like to read what you we're trying to capture, how you did it, or what you were intending. You could even tell us a story.

    September 2, 2013

  • Dionysios

    Hi folks, I spoke with Mr. Haynes again to-day and he's excited about giving us the tour. It seems he likes that we have both an historical and a photographic interest in the building. Let's try to be on time, so we can group and collect the monies before we are let inside. We'll have the whole place to ourselves; in fact we'll be locked in. We'll be split into two groups actually. There will be no photograph taking during the 45min tour, please. Because, after that we will have at least 2 hrs to make photos; we'll have access to many space, without chaperoning we'll be free to roam.

    August 30, 2013

    • Sebastien P.

      Hey azim are you using a tripod!? Otherwise set ISO to 800minimum wide aperture 3.5 4 or 5.6 try to use spot metering and you ll be fine!!!

      August 31, 2013

    • Azim

      Thanks, Sebastien. Nice to meet you on the tour.

      September 1, 2013

  • Azim

    Amazing that we were able to get access to the theatre without being rushes.

    September 1, 2013

  • Stephanie B.

    Great! I am glad that I was able to attend. Thank you very much for organizing. What an excellent idea. If we could do it again it would be wonderful to have some actors or musicians performing on stage. I think to capture them during their performance would be awesome.

    September 1, 2013

  • Theresa

    That was the best meet up thank you Dionysios! Can't wait to go back. It would be interesting to have a some of the lights turned off in areas. I looked in the theatre and the main lobby after the some of the lights where shut off, wished I had my tripod and an hour more!

    August 31, 2013

  • Deeps

    Thanks for this opportunity Dionysios. It was a excellent.

    August 31, 2013

  • K F.

    Great meetup! Got a chance to see the Orpheum from spots most people don't have access to!

    For those who asked me about where they can find my photos:
    - http://q.qasic.com (tumblr photo blog)
    - http://www.flickr.com/photos/qasic (photo archive)

    To answer the questions I got about where I learned my photography, you can check these links out:

    - CreativeLive (full day workshops; free to watch live; pay to download): http://www.creativelive.com
    - B&H Event Space (1 hour lectures on selected topics): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA2A7966A44E77011
    - ThatNikonGuy (youtube presenter on different topics): https://www.youtube.com/user/thatnikonguy
    - Dom Bower (youtube presenter on different topics): https://www.youtube.com/user/Dombowerphoto
    - Neil van Niekerk (on-camera bounce flash and other flash topics): http://neilvn.com/tangents

    August 31, 2013

  • sharon

    Excellent meet up Dionysios! I completely enjoyed that! Thank you :)

    August 31, 2013

  • Andrew P

    Absolutely Fantabulous.

    August 31, 2013

  • Dionysios

    Well, that was something else. That was very cool and very fun. Again, I'd like to thank you all for making it happen and being there to make it fun. Show us your memorable photos; show us what you discovered; and if you have any questions about technique or composition ask us and we'll try to help. Let's get a discussion going; it's another way for us to develop our craft. Mr. Haynes told me he'd like to offer us another opportunity to come the Orpheum, but this time just for photography. So I think we'll try to set that up before the end of the year. Merci beaucoup et à la prochaine!

    3 · August 31, 2013

  • Sebastien P.

    Nicely Organize Thanks to Dionysios and Rob!

    August 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Loved it. The tour was a nice touch and really interesting. Thanks Dionysios for setting this up!

    1 · August 31, 2013

  • Yosri

    It was an awsome meetup.
    I am posting my flickr link (I dont know if it is going to work)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/76110484@N03/sets/72157635322357168/

    1 · August 31, 2013

  • Grace R.

    Awesome, awesome. Always enjoy historical builds. Great company too. Thanks again Dionysios for putting up with us and setting everything up. Please thank those great guys that lead the tour. They were great.

    August 31, 2013

  • Shannon L.

    awesome meetup! The architecture, anecdotes, history and ghost stories were all very interesting.

    August 31, 2013

  • Peter H.

    Can't wait to go again!

    August 31, 2013

  • Dionysios

    Okay folks, I'll see y'all there. Don't be late please. The doors will be locked at 1pm. The RSVPs are closed; I can't check-in remotely, so I won't be replying to new comments. À plus tard.

    August 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am new with digital photography and this tour will be very usefull.
    Also this is a good oportunity to learn about Vancouver history.
    I miss The Marine Building tour today, my work schedule.
    See you tomorrow.

    August 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have to say no too, because terrified by the old lady :(

    August 30, 2013

  • Bhag B.

    Can't believe I have to say No after trying weeks to get in. But unfortunately have no choice :(

    August 30, 2013

  • Dionysios

    Hi ya folks. There is a week until this cool event. How excited are ya? So am I. A couple of things to note. Please make sure of your attendance. If you know before hand that you cannot make it, please change your RSVP to give someone on the waiting list a chance to come. Traffic trouble notwithstanding, it would not be fair to others if you change your plans and didn't change your RSVP. As well, I will remind y'all that this is not the typical tour given by BCHOF, it is a photographic opportunity for our group. Make sure you and your guest are participating for the photography, not for the tour. Thank you all for your interest in this event. Cheers.

    August 24, 2013

    • elfi r.

      I am really excited to also be going to the Orpheum, but cannot meet after for the coffee and chatt , have to be in Maple Ridge by around 5 and also feed my dogs.So excited. Wish I had been faster to reply to the Marine building as that is another great spot. Maybe that one can be done again in the future. Elfi

      August 29, 2013

    • Dionysios

      That's okay. We'll try to get to know eachother whilst photographing. We're also here to get to know new people.

      August 29, 2013

  • Azim

    I am excited about the tour. Thanks for organizing, Dionysios

    August 26, 2013

  • Daniel

    I wanna goooooo..

    August 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    is it minimum or maximum 30 people? I was just wondering because we are 35.

    August 22, 2013

    • Dionysios

      The event is capped at 35. I forgot to change it above.

      August 22, 2013

  • Waseem

    Never been to orpheum

    August 22, 2013

  • Brigitte

    Unfortunately I have to back out. Changed my RSVP so that someone on the waitlist can attend.
    Have fun :)

    August 21, 2013

  • Dionysios

    Mr. Haynes has informed me that due to the Il Volo concert on the 25th, the artists need the stage to rehearse, and so no one else will be allowed in. The date of our tour has been changed to Saturday 31 August, so we could have free reign of the theater. Everything else about the tour stays the the same. I was also able to add a few more spots.

    August 16, 2013

    • Stephen B.

      Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhh­h! 24th is the only free weekend in over 6 months I can join a photo group on Saturday, and see the theatre! That's really bad news, oh well next year ;-)

      August 16, 2013

    • Lolit D.

      Sorry I won't be able to go on the 31st I have something to do in the morning and I am not sure if I would be able to come back on time

      August 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Heh Stephen...I have the same thoughts! I have to work on the 31st so I will not be able to attend! Enjoy everyone. It will be an exciting and very rare opportunity.

    August 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I will fly to California.

    August 17, 2013

  • Andrew P

    I can wait another week,
    no problem!

    August 16, 2013

  • Brigitte

    I'm still in. :)

    August 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Never been to the Orpheum before. So I'm really excited for this one!!! :D

    August 16, 2013

  • Bhag B.

    I have been waiting on the waitlist for a while and in the past, I would just get notification of my confirmation that I am in once the spot is available. I don't think this meetup is setup like that. Even when I go to meetup after getting a email about available spot, I don't see it.

    August 12, 2013

    • Dionysios

      I'm not going to ask members to drop their +1. I've always allowed for it on meets and it would not be fair at this point.

      August 15, 2013

    • Doris F.

      I do agree and understand that it would be unfair. No problem.

      August 16, 2013

  • Dionysios

    I see that Kelly, Theresa, Stephanie and Lolit are +1, which means we're at 30. So I'll change the RSVP total t keep track. Thanks everybody for wanting to come out and play!

    July 23, 2013

    • Dionysios

      Stephanie, I checked with the guide and he will definitely not be letting new people in after the tour.

      August 7, 2013

    • Stephanie B.

      Hi Dionysios, I changed my RSVP, I am coming on my own. See you then!

      August 15, 2013

  • Azim

    I just got off the wait list, and went back on to see if it would make a difference.

    August 13, 2013

  • Azim

    Rejoining

    August 13, 2013

  • Dionysios

    The waiting list is not automatic. When a spot is opened up, those on the waiting list get a notification and it is first come, first served. This is to ensure attendance is deliberate. With enough time people forget or change their mind and it has produced no-shows. Legitimate non attendance due to situations like car trouble notwithstanding. We're trying a manual waiting list now and noting how it's working. If there isn't a link in the email notice, just log in and change your rsvp.

    August 12, 2013

    • Rob

      I think the intentional small group numbers sometimes exacerbate the problem as well. But it's something that all groups experience! I agree with Argun that the perpetrators should feel the repercussions directly, maybe like suspended privileges and if they don't like it, fall in line or you are out! I don't think wasting our time concerning ourselves with trying to keep these people happy while tarnishing the experience of the rest of the membership is ideal! Keep the good, out with the bad!

      August 12, 2013

    • Rob

      Question: Has anyone ever been approached with this issue or was this done without even addressing the situation directly?

      August 12, 2013

  • Candy

    Yeah, I finally got a room & I'm confirmed! Yip-pee!! I'm really excited to this exceptional event. Thanks Alex & Dionysios for the tips! See you all then!

    1 · August 12, 2013

  • Candy

    Dionysios, I just had a notification that a spot has opened, I acted immediately but there's no link or a button to be able for me to change the RSVP? Where else do I click on?

    August 12, 2013

    • Alex M

      change RSVP and join again Candy , hope it will help.

      August 12, 2013

    • Dionysios

      Candy, if there wasn't a link n the email message you could have just logged-in and changed your rsvp, no?

      August 12, 2013

  • Bhag B.

    And I won't want to change my RSVP to loose my place in the queue.

    August 12, 2013

  • Candy

    I see two spots available!

    August 12, 2013

  • Candy

    Could you please add me in! Thanks Dionysios!

    August 12, 2013

  • Doris F.

    There were 3 emails that a spot opened on the RSVP list. Can you please tell me how to get on the RSVP list from the waiting list. I acted right away but did not see an option to RSVP. Thank you.

    August 7, 2013

    • Dionysios

      When you get a notification that a spot has opened up, the message should include a link or a button to be able to change the rsvp. I've never got one though. Can someone else please offer some advice?

      August 7, 2013

    • Doris F.

      Thanks, Dionysios, I had certainly looked for a link or button or some option, though unsuccessfully. Hopefully another opportunity comes up. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

      August 9, 2013

  • Candy

    Hi Dionysios,
    Possible to have the second tour for people who are on waitlist?

    2 · August 6, 2013

    • Dionysios

      Is was Shannon's suggestion actually. Thank her too.

      1 · August 6, 2013

    • Doris F.

      Meant to support Shannon's suggestion. So, thank you, Shannon!

      1 · August 6, 2013

  • Daniel

    I wanna goooooo..

    August 6, 2013

  • sharon

    I was looking forward to this…but now I have to work during this time.

    August 5, 2013

  • Dionysios

    There is a concert the day after, but I was told the proscenium and stage will not be fitted with speakers. So we'll have unobstructed shots of the scene like the photograph above. And Mr. Haynes has lots of cool stories to tell.

    July 23, 2013

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