A group is proposing that a portion of the property where the old bus garage sits in Qualicum Beach be used to bring the silver screen back to Qualicum Beach.
A committee will be presenting to the Qualicum Beach committee of the whole Wednesday proposing the old bus garage property, which was purchased by the town for $1.5 million in 2011 from School District 69 (Qualicum), be used for a multi-use cinema and a brew pub.
The bus garage is located just off of Memorial Avenue and Fourth Avenue East.
Committee member Evelyn Miller said in a press release that this “would provide an ideal location for a cultural and social amenity that the whole town could enjoy.”
The cinema would also be designed for musical performances, but would not provide for theatrical productions that would compete with ECHO Players or Bard to Broadway.
“We need a commitment from council approving this proposal so that our committee could then form a society, seek donations and apply for arts grants for the theatre. Future development proposals for the rest of the property could occur around the theatre and brew pub,” Miller said in the release.
In May of 2017, the town put out a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) for the site with a deadline of Aug. 8, 2017. The RFEI said concepts could have included unique housing options, mixed-use commerical and residential space, tourism opportunities, cultural facilities and other community amenities. The RFEI also stated the development should include a park or public square space and a mix of above and below ground parking.
Planning director Luke Sales said the town never received any formal applications for the RFEI during the time period.
In September, 2011, shortly after the town acquired the land, discussion for use of the site began. At the time uses for the property included a park/public square, neighbourhood pub, commercial space, artists studios and galleries, a hotel, performing arts centre, outdoor performance venue, parking or a movie theatre.
Currently the site is used for parking.
The presentation for the proposed project is May 16 at town hall at 10 a.m.