Who’s responsible for the Metro studio closure last night?

1 minute read

The buzz for the last ~18 hours is what forced the Metro studio closure from the city last night? Just announced from the City of Victoria, the Mayor, and several city councillors:

Yesterday afternoon at 4:20pm a No Occupancy Order was issued by the City's Chief Building Inspector to the Metro Theatre located at 1411 Quadra Street. The theatre had increased the occupant load by installing unsecured seating without a permit and had not added aisles to ensure occupants could safely exit during an emergency. There were life safety concerns about whether the theatre had adequate exit capacity and the seating was structurally sound.

The property owner was advised by the City over nine months ago of the safety measures and permits required to ensure the property is safe for theatre-goers and staff working in the building. City staff have informed the property owner on several occasions during that period of the measures and permits required to safely occupy the building. 

The property owner has been into the City this morning outlining immediate measures to comply with the Building Code and is advancing their application for increased occupancy and tiered seating. The application includes a letter of assurance from a structural engineer to review the capacity of the seating. The property owner will remove approximately 90 seats to ensure there is aisle space for safe exiting. Upon the assurances from the engineer and property owner, the No Occupancy order was removed this morning at 9am. The Building Inspection division will work through the day to assist them in getting the permit by day end.

The big question now is, who's the responsible property owner for the metro studio closure? My understanding is that Metro Studio is a part of Intrepid Theatre, who is a tenant, under lease, from the Victoria Conservatory of Music. So did the conservatory intentionally ignore the city's requests, or did the tenants ignore the city's requests via proxy from the Conservatory?

To have this happen in the middle of the Victoria Fringe Festival could mean significant revenue losses to the theatre and to the festival, not to mention a negative light on one of the best festivals in the city. We've verified there were several shows that were supposed to take place at the venue last night. If you have any more information, please comment below!