About Us

Clova Cinema History

The Clova opened its doors in May 1947, with ‘Dead Reckoning’ a Humphrey Bogart movie. The Clova was built by the community coming together and purchasing bonds to fund construction. The community of Cloverdale supported the Clova so well that the bonds were paid back within 2 years. Proceeds of opening night were donated to the Surrey Memorial Hospital Fund. Right from the beginning, up to today the Clova has made supporting the community that supports us a key operational mandate.

For many years the Clova was one of many Odeon movie houses on the lower mainland. Many of the other Odeon theatre from the 50′s and 60′s are displayed in our lobby, to pay homage to this important chapter in the history of the building. As with many single screen theatres, the Clova was cast adrift when Odeon jumped on the multiplex band wagon in the early 80′s. The larger single screens were chopped up into several individual screens. The Clova just wasn’t big enough.

The Clova was empty for a few years, it was purchased by a local real estate investor, and is still owned by him. He leased it to several businesses in the eighties. The Clova was briefly a video rental shop, a youth centre, and for a couple years, home to cue to cue players, who put on live shows at the Clova. In 1992 Jeff Larson, leased it and restored it to a movie theatre, and won an award for his efforts. It was Jeff that started our double bill, intermediate run business format. Which is what we still do most weeks. Craig Burghardt, with the support of his parents, purchased the business from Jeff in the summer of1996 and has been running it ever since. For our 50th anniversary in 1997 we dressed up in 40′s costumes and played ‘Casablanca’ starring Humphrey Bogart, we donated proceeds to The Surrey Hospital Foundation. In addition to movies we have hosted many special events. We have had: 3 weddings; several concerts; some plays; a gala; a celebration of life; the harlem shake; and a ton of wonderful other events in our auditorium.

Many people talk of coming here as a kid, or on their first date with their wife / husband. Lots of people have seen there first movie here. The Clova frequently reminds people of the movie theatre that used to be in their hometown. We are very proud to have been part of the community in so many ways for the past 3 generations, and hope to be around for a few more.

© 2010 Clova Cinema