The Museum of Surrey’s feature gallery is now filled with TV and movie memorabilia for a closer look at the city’s filming history.
The “Surrey on Screen” exhibit opened Thursday (Aug. 18) for an eight-month run at the facility in Cloverdale, until mid-April.
Costumes, photos, props and other film-related objects feature Surrey-shot shows including Smallville, Supernatural, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Superman & Lois, IZombie and more.
Curator Colleen Sharpe and museum staff assembled the exhibit with the help of an archives team with Warner Bros. Discovery, the City of Surrey’s film office and also Cloverdale BIA.
“It’s been so much fun putting this together and learning about how much has been filmed here,” Sharpe said Tuesday (Aug. 16) as a small crew put the finishing touches on the exhibit.
The showcase isn’t a comprehensive look at Surrey’s film history, it’s a snapshot of highlights of the industry here.
At the gallery entrance, a red carpet leads visitors past a wall of autographed photos of famous actors and the “credits” of close to 400 films shot in Surrey over the past several decades.
Among the exhibit’s largest items is an old movie projector, dubbed “Ethel,” once used at the Clova Theatre in downtown Cloverdale. On loan from Surrey’s heritage collection, the International Projector Corp.-made Lume-X was built in 1940 and was in operation at the Clova until the theatre closed in 2014.
“It makes me happy that it’s here because there was some work involved to make it happen,” Sharpe explained. “This is one of two projectors that were at the Clova. This is Ethel, and the other one was called Bertha.”
When the Clova closed, the theatre operators donated one projector to Surrey’s heritage department and sold the other to pay off debts, according to Sharpe.
“This one was disassembled in pieces because storing something large like this isn’t easy, it’s so big,” Sharpe said. “It was taken apart, and months ago I asked the collections curator to borrow it for this exhibit, and we needed to find someone to help put it back together. We found a technician, thankfully, and we have some photos of him working on it.”
Scenes from "Surrey on Screen," a new Museum of Surrey showcase of movies and TV shows filmed here over the years, plus an old Clova Theatre projector. #SurreyBC @HeritageSurrey
STORY: https://t.co/kRLOU4Waia pic.twitter.com/ksrzY58IZr
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) August 17, 2022
The Clova has been featured in a number of Surrey-filmed productions including Smallville, where it’s known as The Talon Theater. For the “Surrey on Screen” exhibit, the projector is purposely positioned next to costumes for the Green Arrow, Clark Kent and Lex characters from Smallville.
Elsewhere in the exhibit space, people can sit in theatre seats to watch a clip of Surrey-filmed highlights.
“Those seats are not from the Clova, unfortunately,” Sharpe noted. “We bought them as props from the Caprice Theatre in South Surrey — secondhand from someone else, but that’s where they’re originally from.”
There’s a green-screen interactive feature that includes the popular Surrey City Hall film-shoot location, a “Lois” desk replica that includes copies of the Daily Planet newspaper, costume-adorned mannequins, and more.
“Warner has been super supportive, so most of the content here is loaned from them,” Sharpe explained. “They shot a lot of shows here. They care about community engagement and really wanted to be part of this.”
Loaned by the Paramount studio, a late addition to the exhibit is a Dr. Robotnik costume worn by Jim Carrey in the Sonic the Hedgehog movie filmed in Surrey a few years ago.
“With hundreds of film days each year, thousands of creators, actors, and technicians, filming in Surrey is an economic driver in British Columbia’s creative industry,” says Lynn Saffery, museum manager. “This exhibit is a great way to learn about filming and share your experiences with others.”
Also currently shown at the museum is Dilber Mann’s “Inspiration X,” a Community Treasures exhibit of nearly two dozen of his movie and game character statues.
Admission is free at the Museum of Surrey, located at 17710 56A Ave. The hours are Tuesday to Saturday from9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more details visit surrey.ca/museum or call 604-592-6956.
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