PAI Highlight: Massey Theatre Renewal

Categories: All, Design, Architecture

April 26, 2023

We are excited to be working with the City of New Westminster on the upcoming Renewal of the Massey Theatre! Proscenium has been involved in renovations and studies for the building since 1997 through various phases and we are thrilled to be leading its next steps.


The Massey Theatre is a historic, modernist theatre built in 1949. In its early days, it was the entertainment centre of the Royal City and surrounding region. Located on New Westminster Secondary School property, it was operated by the school district as a rental hall for the community and a roadhouse for touring artists and entertainers, as well as the heart of arts education for the whole school system in New Westminster.

With 1260 seats, The Massey was the first theatre in Metro Vancouver to attract regional audiences for the stars and divas of dance and music, as well as Broadway musicals and large stage productions.

The Massey Theatre’s first production


Over the decades, the well-used civic arts facility started to show its wear. Proscenium’s phased work included many aspects of the building such as increasing the size of the lobby and public areas, improving the acoustics of the stage and audience chamber and reconfiguring the back of house facilities. In 2021, Proscenium completed a pivotal Service Connection project to allowed the Massey Theatre to be independent from the adjacent school that was slated for demolition.

Hand drawing from a Proscenium study in 2000


Seventy years since it was built, this historic and much-loved civic theatre is due for important upgrades and we are glad to be doing the important preliminary work will get it to that next step. The current Renewal project consists of two phases: initial investigations to define the scope of work, and a renovation/upgrade to address the immediate needs of the facility.

We look forward to sharing more about the project as it progresses!

Learn more about Proscenium’s history with arts and cultural buildings.