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Hearts Warm Up for Metro Theatre’s Need to Upgrade

Non-Profit theatre hosted a one-night only variety show to fundraise for new sink and curtain

VANCOUVER, BC.: FEBRUARY 17TH -- Susan Skemp singing on the Metro Theatre stage. Photo by Cloe Logan
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Reported by Cloe Logan

Metro Theatre’s quest to upgrade melted the hearts of its community because the 55-year-old venue continues to put most of their funding towards production costs first.

Volunteer performers came together last Saturday and presented seven acts for their one-night-only event called the Warm Hearts Variety Show. The theatre is non-profit and relies on volunteer actors, producers and directors to put on productions.

The show consisted of dynamic performances including improv, magic and singing. Flamenco dancers from Los Gitanos School of Spanish & Flamenco Dance opened the evening while members from 5/4 Rhythm, a tap dancing group, brought the finale. Over 100 people attended the event.

Curtain and sink in need of repair

Alison Schamberger, president of the Metro Theatre and emcee for the variety show, opened the night by thanking performers for volunteering their time and by doing a draw for a pair of donated tickets.

“These people have generously donated their talents so Metro Theatre can replace our backstage sink and our cyclorama, an object with over 60 years of use. I’d say it’s time,” Schamberger said.

The stage was decorated with gifted flowers. The torn cyclorama, a curtain that gives the effect of sky, was visible behind. Susan Skemp, who has performed with acts like Dal Richards, had the whole crowd singing Que Sera, Sera during her last song.

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Staple in the community

Audience member Maya Schofield, who grew up in the area, loves the intergenerational aspect of the theatre and it’s retro feel.

“The theatre seems very community oriented, lots of people have been going to the theatre for years and know each other. Plus the upstairs lounge was like a bar in a ‘50s Bond movie,” she said.

Tracy-Lynn Chernaske produced the variety show and said the theatre getting the funding it needs is important for the community.

“It provides a community space for people to come in and hold conferences, talks and all kinds of things like that. I don’t think Marpole or South Vancouver has a lot of spaces like that,” Chernaske said.

Metro Theatre was able to raise the funds they needed but was unable to provide exact amounts.

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