Surrey heritage bylaw means Clova building may be restored to original glory

CLOVERDALE — Those who remember living in Cloverdale more than 60 years ago might soon get a blast from the past.

The iconic Clova building, which opened in 1947, could be restored to its original glory thanks to a Heritage Revitalization Agreement bylaw proposal.

A development application is now posted at the 176th Street venue in hopes of returning the outside of the building to its previous appearance.

“We know the building is a piece of history in Cloverdale, so we want to honour that legacy and if that makes the city happy, then that makes us happy, too,” said Lee Francois, a pastor at Crossridge Church, which took over the venue last summer from its former operator.

Craig Burghardt, who ran the Clova Cinema, closed its doors as a theatre on Aug. 3, 2014.

“It’s something we worked with them (the city) on, we were open to hearing what that would look like and then as we’ve worked in process with them. It seems like it’s a win-win situation,” Francois said.

The changes would include painting the front of the building cream and black, as it appeared when it opened, as well as re-doing the theatre’s marquee sign, its windows and box office.

The HRA proposal is set to be discussed at the March 23 Surrey council meeting at 7 p.m. Francois said the church will be sending a representative, and he doesn’t foresee any resistance to the plan.

“The outside of the building, they have given us a picture of what it used to look like, and you’ve got x number of years to restore it to its original appearance: so colours, the way the façade looks, some of that stuff. It’s a bit of a negotiation process,” he told the Now.

The Clova primarily functions as a church, though Crossridge ran classic Christmas films for the public for free over the holidays, and plans to keep it open for the Cloverdale Rodeo dates.

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