Here are Dal Richard’s first recollections of the Orpheum, from the 1930s when he was a junior high school student.

Museum of Vancouver

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Transcript

NARRATOR
Here are Dal Richard’s first recollections of the Orpheum, from the 1930s when
he was a junior high school student.

DAL RICHARDS
I was in Point Grey Junior High. And one of the kids in my class, father played
the organ in the Orpheum Theatre.

So he was able to get passes, and I saw any number of vaudeville shows in
the Orpheum. And just thought, that would be the ultimate for me, to have an
orchestra in the Orpheum stage.

NARRATOR
After those formative years at Point Grey Junior high, Dal would fulfill his dream
of becoming a professional musician. He remembers hearing Juliette, who would
become a Canadian vocal legend, sing for the first time at the Orpheum in 1940.

DAL RICHARDS
I got a call from Ivan Ackery, who was the manager of the Orpheum. And he had
a policy of cutting out the shorts of the daily program on Friday evenings, so he
featured a local band between the movies.

And he asked if I’d be interested, and I certainly was. So we went to the
Orpheum for a rehearsal, and after the rehearsal, Ivan said to me, “That’s a good
show, Dal. But I noticed you don’t have a girl singer.”

We called them girl singers in those days. Sometimes we still do. Ivan said to
me, “I heard a little girl in the Kitsilano Showboat the other night. And I’d like you
to listen to her.” And I said, “Ivan, that’s not really not the image that I want.” And
he said, “Well, will you just listen to her.” So I listened to her, and she could sing,
all right.

And it was June of 1940. And she sang “There Will Always Be an England.” We
were at war at the time, and she brought the house down. And that was the first
professional engagement of Juliette, who went on to be a very famous Canadian
singer.

NARRATOR
Now in his 90s, Dal is still swinging at the Orpheum.

DAL RICHARDS
Recently, I celebrated my 90th birthday there. We had a concert. A lot of my
friends—singers, musicians, choirs, everything else—part of it all. Now we’re
making plans for a 95th birthday. So I’m quite thrilled about that.


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