One of the largest live performance venues in Langley is closing.
Cascades Casino is removing the 420-seat Summit Theatre to make way for a new bingo hall opening in February, confirmed Tanya Gabara, director of public relations for Gateway Casinos.
The changes are part of the casino’s 23,000 square-foot expansion, which will include new high-end restaurant Atlas Steak + Fish, a rooftop patio and more space for gaming and special events.
This also means that bingo hall Playtime Gaming at 19664 64 Ave. — which has been owned by Gateway since 2015 — will be closing once renovations at Cascades are complete.
“Cascades Casino will become the first and only full-service casino in the Lower Mainland to offer all gaming amenities under one roof,” Gabara told the Langley Times. “This will create a truly unique experience for our customers.”
Since opening in 2005, some of the largest music acts to come to Langley have performed on the Summit Theatre stage. Such artists as Daniel Wesley, Bif Naked, Prism, the Yuk Yuk’s comedy troupe and countless tribute acts have provided high quality entertainment for audiences, who otherwise would have to travel to Abbotsford or Vancouver for similar shows.
The theatre has also been a hot spot on Friday and Saturday nights when it is turned into a club-like venue, with hundreds of people often showing up to dance to live bands.
The casino has no plans to build a new theatre, however live music will still be offered in other areas of the facility.
“We will continue to offer entertainment events in the Cascades ballroom in the convention centre. In fact, there will be an event with live music on New Year’s Eve in the ballroom as has been the case for several years,” Gabara said.
“We encourage our customers to visit Match Eatery & Public House to enjoy the DJ entertainment every Friday and Saturday night and watch for upcoming events in the Cascades ballroom. As well, once Atlas is open it will offer lounge entertainment. There will be more information on plans for live entertainment events in the coming months.”
The lack of a dedicated performing arts centre in Langley has been a topic of interest for years.
In 2013, both the Langley City and Township councils approved a task force to explore the possibility of building an arts centre. And from 2010 to 2015, Langley Ukulele Ensemble founder Peter Luongo held the Langley Has Talent competition to showcase local talent and advocate for a performing arts venue.
The last scheduled event at the Summit Theatre is the Dr. Strangelove New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31.
Once the theatre closes on Jan. 1, there will be only a handful of venues to choose from in Langley.
Many of the artists usually booked at the Summit Theatre will instead perform at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley, confirmed Rob Warwick of Rock.It Boy Entertainment, who has organized countless shows at the Summit Theatre since 2006.
Warwick will also continue to book shows in the Cascades ballroom and Match Eatery.
Other places to catch live music in Langley include Bez Arts Hub, Water Shed Arts Cafe, and local bars like the Fort Pub and the Artful Dodger.