Commodore Ballroom Celebrates 75 Years

The Commodore Ballroom first opened its doors on December 3, 1929. Despite its many ups and downs over the decades--including changes of ownership, a name change (it was originally called the Commodore Cabaret), and a memorable extended closure in the late '90s--the Granville Street landmark remains one of Vancouver's favourite nightspots. From December 3, 2004 to December 4, 2005, the legendary club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary. To prepare for this year-long party, the Commodore's current operators (House of Blues Concerts Canada, in association with Bruce Allen and Roger Gibson) are assembling items for a retrospective display. That's where you come in. House of Blues is soliciting the public for old concert posters, coasters, photographs, and other bits of Commodore-related ephemera, along with stories of favourite nights spent at the fabled venue. If you have something to share, call 604-739-4550 or e-mail

House of Blues will kick off the Commodore's 75th-anniversary celebrations a little early by presenting an October 16 concert by Tom Waits. Waits, who is also performing at the Orpheum Theatre the night before, was apparently lured by his fondness for Vancouver and his love for playing in buildings with a bit of history behind them. The Commodore, which has hosted everyone from Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey to the Clash and Tina Turner to Nirvana and Coldplay, certainly qualifies. Tickets for the Waits show go on sale Saturday (October 2) at 9:30 a.m., and will only be available at the Commodore box office, with a limit of two per person. This should ensure a fair-sized Granville Mall sleepover on Friday night.