For more than 45 years, Simon Fraser University has nurtured the talents of student-athletes who have gone on to achieve great things in either aspect of that role, producing Rhodes Scholars and Olympians alike. Since winning its first championship in 1972—swimming and diving in men's NAIA—the Clan has claimed victory in more than 50 National NAIA or CIS championships in such sports as skiing, women's basketball, and women's wrestling. Each year, rather than honouring its athletes as in other schools' age-old traditions—sending them off on an ice floe to fight the Soviets—SFU bestows an outstanding male and female each with a highland sgian dubh, a traditional Gaelic weapon that symbolizes courage, respect, and loyalty.
Now that it has been fully restored, the Rio Theatre immediately recalls the splendour of its grand opening in 1938. Hiding behind the old-fashioned aesthetics, however, are a digital HD projector and surround-sound speakers that immerse filmgoers in an eclectic array of first-run blockbusters and cinema classics. Showing films again as of April 2012, the theatre’s movie selection ranges from sci-fi and horror to wholesome family films, though the program coalesces around a love for pop culture that the owners share with their most ardent fans.
Aside from the daily show times, cult classics—frequently in their original 35 mm form—screen at midnight on Fridays. Guests from all walks of life come out to these packed showings, where they can snack on popcorn made with real butter or win prizes for dressing in costume as their favourite character or key grip. The 420-seat theatre also hosts concerts and events throughout the year, including past performances by Janeane Garofalo and local musicians Bend Sinister.
Pacific Cinémathèque has been bringing essential cinema to Vancouver for nearly four decades. With an emphasis on international films, art-house flicks, Canadian classics, and under-the-radar movies, Pacific Cinémathèque offers alluring alternatives to the kiss-kiss, bang-bang blitz of Hollywood, earning it honours from the Vancouver Sun as 2009’s best art house/foreign film theatre. Get a double-bill ticket ($11.50 for adults) and activate your celluloid goggles for consumption of two game-changing movie experiences in one night. Upcoming features include a one-two punch from decorated documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles, with Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter chronicling ruinous recluses and rock-‘n’-roll rawness, respectively, while the Italian filmmaker Francesco Rosi’s works get top billing in a special retrospective running May 27–June 10. Other upcoming Pacific Cinémathèque films available on double bills include works by Japanese filmmaking legend Akira Kurosawa and the little-seen American cult comedy Casablanca. Wash down your viewing experience with a small popcorn ($3) and a small pop ($2.50) from the concession stand, both included in your Groupon.
Fighting Chance Productions has been praised by the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Courier for engaging its audiences with a diverse and dynamic playbill. As artistic director and founder of the nonprofit company, Ryan Mooney has amassed an enchanting ensemble to woo theatregoers in the 2011–2012 season with renditions of classics such as The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens's final, unfinished novel, and the sultry musical Sweet Charity, the melodious tale of a dancer-for-hire's attempts to conceal her profession from her bashful betrothed. Patrons can savour the quirky comedy and emotional candour of an all-male troupe performance of Jon Maran's The Temperamentals, a play about the first LGBT organization in the United States and the love affair between its founding members. The farcical woes of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum will resonate with viewers also grappling with the plight of mistaken identities and low-thread-count togas in the same historic Jericho Arts Centre in which Cathy Wilmot exhibits one-woman wizardry channelling the reclusive estrangement of socialites Edith Beale and Little Edie Beale in the production of Grey Gardens.
Your seat will be in section C of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, which includes seats in the orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony; seats are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis, so redeem early to get the best spot. You will be charged a $2 handling fee (not covered by the Groupon) when you reserve your ticket.