Video: The Neighbourhood of William Vince

Back to feature: “Big Picture Thinker,” by Kevin Chong

This is a tour through Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood for which the late Hollywood film producer William Vince felt great affection.

Every Saturday night on a desolate stretch of Main Street, William Vince’s District 319 theatre casts a ray of light and movie magic. But the beautifully refurbished movie house is a study in juxtaposition: it sits just a few rundown shopfronts away from the itinerant souls huddled at the corner of Main and Hastings, in what is considered Canada’s poorest postal code.

Vince talked of wanting to make the ramshackle neighbourhood “feel alive again.” “It frustrates me that there’s no pride in the area,” he said. Vince died, of cancer, on June 21, 2008. He was 44.

This video was collected by digital editor John Bucher on Friday, August 1, 2008.