You always hear the phrase, ‘they don’t make them like they used to’ and it’s true when it comes to a lot of things, especially architecture and art. What happens when you combine the two? Well, close to a decade ago, you’d get adverts painted on the sides of buildings. No big billboards. or digitized display boards. Rather than marvelling about what a computer or machine was able to do, you’d marvel about what a few men or women could do with just a little vision.  Now, if you’re wondering, what the hell I’m talking about, as you usually would, it’s the old school vintage painted ads on brick.

Now, most of these classically constructed signs on uniquely built buildings were demolished along with the buildings, as newly, glass, steel structures replaced them. The city slowly builds a new identity, with a large number of buildings that are designed and built in the same  style. If a city has a solid game plan, they’d stay true to 25% of the buildings in the downtown core or throughout, and keep that sense of nostalgia and old world charm. So, while most of these signs are lost in rubble, some are simply covered up by buildings built beside them, and in a sort of accidental preservation, the painted sign fades slightly, but keeps its character. This happened, as the Vancouver Sun reported to the address at 817 Granville Street, where The Farmer Building once stood. The careful teardown of the building has revealed a piece of Old Vancouver charm. 

The advert is for Harold Lloyds ‘Grandma’s Boy’, a movie from 1922. Here’s the description from IMDB,

Always the mama’s boy, or in this case a grandma’s boy, Sonny joins a posse after a tramp accused of robbery and murder. He is unable to conquer his cowardice until Grandma tells him of his grandfather, also a coward, who overcame his fears with the help of a magic amulet. With new courage (and the charm), Sonny captures the fugitive and becomes the hero of the day.

The film is all of 60 minutes

The coolest part of the sign is the Monopoly style pointed finger directing folks to the Capitol Theatre. The wall and sign itself, as it slowly gets revealed is also slated to come down, both buildings are going to be torn down, outside of the facade. They’ll be replaced by the stereotypical sameness of glass, steel, marble, that’s become characteristic of mixed used buildings in Vancouver.

“Destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation, and earthquakes are to a girl’s guitar, they’re just another good vibration, and tidal waves couldn’t save the world from Californication.”

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