Ridge Theatre closing to make room for condo development

The Ridge Theatres art deco lettering and neon lights have enchanted generations of Vancouver movie goers. Photo courtesy of VanCityBuzz.com

By SHAWN GILL

Another city landmark, known for its neon sign and cozy theatres, is set to meet the bulldozer.

The Ridge movie theatre has been a fixture of the Kitsilano community for 63 years but is set to be demolished to make way for a $60-million redevelopment project that will include 50 units of condo space and a grocery store.

News of the Ridge’s demise comes just days after the Playhouse Theatre Company suddenly shut its doors last Saturday.

Disheartened Vancouverites turned to Twitter to vent their feelings about what they see as indicative of the city’s cultural dissolution:

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The closing of the Ridge comes a year after the West Side lost the Hollywood Theatre, another throwback silver-screen treasure, which had elicited cheers from generations of Vancouverites.

It’s always sad to see well-known cultural artifacts, torn down and replaced modern structures. World-class cities make it a point to maintain connections to their pasts while planning for the future. It’s true that in order to move ahead Vancouver must meet the insatiable demand for housing. But surely there is a way to grow while keeping the city’s cultural heritage intact?

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UBC student group facilitates attack on women’s rights on International Women’s Day

Picture courtesy of Feminists for Choice

By Shawn Gill

The Genocide Awareness Project, a radical anti-abortion group, held a demonstration at UBC yesterday, on International Women’s Day.

UBC students and community members staged a protest in response to an organization that overtly equates abortion with genocide.

“The fact that this is taking place on International Women’s Day demonstrates how little regard for womens’ value and a woman’s right to choose that this group truly has,” said Ariana Barer, local feminist activist and UBC masters student.

On their website, the Genocide Awareness Project says that they are a “travelling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide.”

“As a woman and as a Jewish person I am horrified that the oppression of Jews and others peoples historically is being used to justify the oppression of women today,” said Barer.

The Genocide Awareness Project exhibits extremely graphic imagery of fetuses next to images of human suffering.

This can trigger an intensely negative emotional reponse in women who have experienced abortion or misscarriage, says Barer who’s graduate research is around the way sexual assaults on women are portrayed in media.

“Generations of women have fought for women’s access to reproductive choice. My mom worked hard to create a world where this was an option for women. International Women’s Day reminds me of what my mom did for me,” said Barer.

“My mom fought for this a generation ago and here we are again fighting the same battle,” said Barer.

The Genocide Awareness Project was able to gain access to the campus through the pro-life student group Lifeline which is allowed to book space for events on campus.