60th Anniversary of CBUT – Part 2 – All That Jazz

Two images of the exterior of the former Cellar Jazz club. Left- January 2014 a couple of months before the building was torn down To make way for more condos! Photo: C. Hagemoen. Right- March 21, 1961, CBUT on location at the Cellar, Photo: Franz Lindner, CBC Vancouver Still Photo Collection.

Two images of the exterior of the former Cellar Jazz club. Left- January 2014 a couple of months before the building was torn down To make way for more condos! Photo: C. Hagemoen. Right- March 21, 1961, CBUT on location at the Cellar to record Jazz #3, Photo: Franz Lindner, CBC Vancouver Still Photo Collection.

I knew its days were numbered when I saw the blue construction fencing being installed around its perimeter a few weeks ago. Sure enough, two days later a bulldozer was pulling down the final remains of a piece of Vancouver’s jazz history – The Cellar Jazz Club. Officially located at 222 East Broadway, the entrance to the basement club was in the rear along the “alley like” Watson Street. The Cellar, which opened in April 1956, was a “bottle club” – it had no liquor license. British Columbia historically has had very odd liquor laws (still does in many ways) and so most cabarets would sell ice and soft drinks while allowing patrons to bring in their own concealed containers of alcohol. The Cellar was founded and operated by members of the local jazz scene.

Composite of images inside the Cellar Jazz club from March 21, 1961. CBUT was on location to film Jazz #3 and still photographer, Franz Lindner captured the event. Photos: Franz Lindner, CBC Vancouver Still Photo Collection.

Composite of images inside the Cellar Jazz club from March 21, 1961. CBUT was on location to film Jazz #3 and still photographer, Franz Lindner captured the event. Photos: Franz Lindner, CBC Vancouver Still Photo Collection.

Practically at the same time the remains of the Cellar Jazz club were being torn down, another “Cellar” jazz venue was closing across town. After 13 years, [though I recall it being around earlier than that- probably with a different owner]  Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club (3611 West Broadway) closed its doors. Named one of the the world’s best jazz clubs by Downbeat Magazine, the popular Vancouver jazz venue eventually closed, not from lack of support, but due to financial reasons. [For more about Cory Weeds’ Cellar Jazz Club listen to an interview with Weeds and CBC Radio Hot Air host, Margaret Gallagher here.]

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That Cold Day in the Park

A cold day in the park. Park bench in Tatlow Park, Vancouver. Photo: C. Hagemoen

A cold day in the park. Park bench in Tatlow Park, Vancouver. Photo: C. Hagemoen

One of Vancouver’s oldest parks, Tatlow Park (at Point Grey Road and MacDonald), was the central location of one of the first Hollywood features filmed in Vancouver; Robert Altman‘s often neglected 1969 film, That Cold Day in the Park.

A newly restored 35mm print of the film is screening this weekend (March 8th & 9th) part of the the UCLA Festival of Preservation. This biennial festival is making its only Canadian stop at The Cinematheque in Vancouver. The UCLA Festival of Preservation reflects the “broad and deep efforts” of UCLA Film & Television Archive to preserve and restore America’s national moving image heritage.

The historical sweep and technical wizardry of UCLA Film & Television Archive’s preservation projects—from early silent films and Golden Age classics, to fascinating rarities and contemporary gems—are showcased in our biennial UCLA Festival of Preservation.

Hosting this Festival allows the Cinematheque to showcase “the important preservation and restoration work being done by other cinema archives, film studios, and specialty distribution companies around the globe”. The preservation of Altman’s first feature, That Cold Day in the Park (1969), was funded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation.

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