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Clova Theatre

5732 176 Street, Surrey, British Columbia, V3S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2005/01/01

Exterior view of the Clova Theatre, 2004; City of Surrey
front elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/07/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Clova Theatre is a modest, Streamline Moderne neighbourhood movie house located mid-block on the main commercial street of Cloverdale. Identifiable for its smooth, curved stucco-clad front facade and projecting theatre marquee, the Clova Theatre continues to operate as a neighbourhood movie theatre.

Heritage Value

Constructed in 1946, the Clova Theatre is valued as one of the first modern buildings built in Cloverdale during the postwar era. Constructed immediately after the Second World War, the theatre recalls a period when Cloverdale's downtown area was still a regional commercial, retail and entertainment centre, prior to the arrival of the automobile-oriented suburban shopping malls. Downtown areas such as Cloverdale contained all essential services for the expanding population, with movie houses being an essential cultural element. The Clova was highly significant to the community, as television was not yet widely available and movies were the main form of public entertainment.

Additionally, the Clova Theatre is valued as a rare surviving example within Cloverdale of the Streamline Moderne style. A later variation of Art Deco architecture, it displays the influence of the technological marvels of the day such as airplanes, steamships and locomotives, and was characterized by rounded corners and smooth planar surfaces. The refined appearance stems from the elegantly clean and simple, serpentine profile of the facade, reflected in fashionable building materials such as the vertical neon sign and smooth, well proportioned symmetry. Significantly many original interior features have survived, and the Clova still functions as a neighbourhood theatre.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Clova Theatre include its:
- continuous use as a theatre since the time of construction
- mid-block location, abutting neighbouring buildings, in downtown Cloverdale
- form, scale and massing as expressed by its two storey height and regular, rectangular plan
- low-pitched roof with canted edges behind raised front parapet
- concrete foundation and masonry walls with a smooth, stucco clad facade; truss roof construction
- Streamline Moderne features such as the serpentine front facade with unadorned stucco finish
- exterior details such as the centrally placed box office, elongated stylized keystone detail over the side windows on the second floor of the front facade, elaborate vertical 'Clova' neon can sign and a projecting front marquee
- double-hung 1-over-2 wooden-sash window on the second floor facade
- elements of the original layout and design such as the raked auditorium, illuminated signs located above the auditorium access doors, lobby with restrooms, concession and symmetrically placed auditorium access doors, projection room accessed by lobby area staircase, and projection room fittings such as heavy, metal clad, fireproof doors with assembly of connected weights linked to the fire alarm system for automatic closure, fire suppression system and escape ladder



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type


Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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