Theatre Under the Stars

If you’ve ever been to Stanley Park, chances are you’ve passed by the Malkin Bowl outdoors theatre before. Unfortunately, in 2020 they had to cancel all shows due to the pandemic, but that won’t stop me from talking about the amazing venue and shows they’ve had since their inception in 1934.

When it was first built in 1934, funding was led by former Mayor W.H. Malkin and therefore it took on his namesake. At first, it was only used for afternoon concerts but then it gradually took on a more distinct identity. A summer tradition was created by the production company Theatre Under the Stars to have iconic performances under the sun. Some of the famous ones include but are not limited to:

  • West Side Story in 1999 and 2016
  • Mary Poppins in 2017
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1940
  • The Wizard of Oz in 1952 and 1960

Fortunately, they have announced plans to return the summer tradition for the 2021 year with full refunds to anyone who bought tickets for the 2020 year. Being run by volunteers from the community, the costs of ushers and crew are run by donations and memberships. Starting at $25 a year, being a member helps keep the Malkin Bowl running. That’s only $2 a month!

Wheeler, James. “BC Night.” 2013. JPG file. / Pixabay

What I love most about this is their fostering of young talented stage performers who deliver quality shows. You might not even realize that most of them are amateurs executing these popular genres of musical theatre. Theatre Under the Stars also promotes inclusion and a comfortable atmosphere to go along with their signature nighttime setting.

Getting to Malkin Bowl is very convenient. Simply get to Stanley Park using the #19 downtown bus then a short walk past the Dining Pavilion to arrive at Malkin Bowl. Being able to seat over 550 people, its outdoors setting is its greatest strength. Enjoying quality theatre whilst seeing the nighttime stars paired with a mellow ambience, all while snacking on your favorite snack of choice – now that’s a perfect summer night.


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