The Michael J. Fox TheatreJun 30th, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: This and That
A few months back, while fellow stalker Owen and I were doing research on Michael J. Fox’s childhood home which I blogged about yesterday, I came across some information about a place called “the Michael J. Fox Theatre” which is located on the campus of Burnaby South Secondary School and, let me tell you, I just about passed out from excitement. I absolutely could NOT WAIT to tell Owen about the location, as he just so happens to be MJF’s biggest fan. Apparently, in November of 1995 Burnaby South renamed their 613-seat professional theatre, which originally opened in 1993, in recognition of the Canadian-born actor and his many achievements in the entertainment industry and contributions to the community that he once called home. Owen was extremely excited to hear about the theatre and I immediately added it to my list of Must-Stalk locations in Vancouver. So, Owen, this one’s for you!
As I mentioned above, the Michael J. Fox Theatre is located on the campus of Burnaby South Secondary School, which is not actually the high school that Michael J. Fox attended as a teen. The actor was actually enrolled at the similarly-named Burnaby Central Secondary School, which is located about three miles north of Burnaby South. I’m not entirely sure why city officials did not dedicate a theatre in his honor at his actual alma mater, but I believe the reasoning behind the decision had to do with the fact that Burnaby South is a very technologically advanced institution that offers several communications and broadcasting courses to its 1,700-member student body. The school also televises its morning announcements via a daily news program each morning and offers a broadcasting class in which theatrically-inclined students can create and film short movies and television series which are then broadcast over the school’s airwaves during each lunch hour. Add to that the fact that the British Columbia School for the Deaf was moved to the Burnaby South campus in 1995 and that the theatre which now bears MJF’s name was designed with the hearing-impaired, and other special needs students, in mind, and it’s obvious why they chose the campus as the location of the Michael J. Fox Theatre.
And, let me tell you, I just about died when we pulled up to the Burnaby South campus and spotted the above sign. So darn cool!
Because the theatre is located on a high school campus and because we were stalking the place on a Saturday, I didn’t have high hopes that we would actually be able to see the inside of it. So, imagine my surprise when we pulled up and found the front doors standing wide open, thanks to a dance recital that was taking place inside. YAY!
The Michael J. Fox Theatre is truly beautiful inside, but my favorite part had to be the huge tile wall mosaic made up of brightly-colored musicians and dancers which greets patrons as they enter (pictured above).
And while the theatre’s logo, which consists of MJF’s initials written in his own handwriting – which I think is just about the coolest thing ever! – appears in numerous spots throughout the theatre, sadly there are no photographs of the actor displayed anywhere on the premises. Nor could I find any information about him or about the history of the theatre. I had expected there to be, at the very least, some sort of plaque honoring the theatre’s namesake along with a photograph of him at the theatre’s dedication ceremony, but all we could find was the above display which lists the names of those who have donated to the property at one time or another. Such a bummer!
Due to the dance recital which was taking place while we were there, the interior of the actual auditorium was far too dark for us to be able to snap any photographs. Which is such a bummer as I had so wanted to see the Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan honorary chair! You can see what the auditorium looks like on the official Michael J. Fox Theatre website here, which is where I got the two photographs pictured above.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Michael J. Fox Theatre is located on the campus of Burnaby South Secondary School at 7373 Macpherson Avenue in Burnaby, British Columbia. You can visit the office Michael J. Fox Theatre website here.