A short history of Surrey-based film and TV productions is now showing at the Museum of Surrey.
“Surrey On Screen” opened in the main hall Aug. 18.
The new exhibit showcases props, costumes, posters, photographs, and other on-screen history items for many productions filmed in the city over the years, including Cloverdale productions: Smallville, Supernatural, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Superman and Lois, among others.
“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,” Lynn Saffery, museum manager, said in a press release.
The exhibit isn’t exhaustive as it leaves out many big productions that were filmed around Cloverdale, but it’s a tiny window into a larger industry. Noticeably absent is anything related to Peacemaker, James Gunn’s superhero spin-off megahit that was filmed in Cloverdale for the first half of 2021.
But there are some very interesting items, such as props from iZombie and a signed shooting script from Supernatural’s episode #1520 “Carry On.”
There is also a small theatre tucked into a corner where museum-goes can rest in retro theatre seats to watch snippets of productions shot in Cloverdale and Surrey.
A “Wall of Fame” opens the exhibition as about a hundred autographed photos of famous actors greet museum-goers.
“This exhibit is a great way to learn about filming and share your experiences with others,” added Saffery.
That “sharing” aspect includes a wall where visitors can leave notes about how filming has made an impact on their lives over the years.
The exhibit is presented in collaboration with the City of Surrey Filming Department and Warner Bros. Discovery. Warner Bros. donated many props for the exhibition, including a full Superman suit.
Along with set props and movie memorabilia, the exhibition also has artifacts from the Surrey Heritage Collection, which includes a massive old movie projector—nicknamed Ethel—from the Clova Theatre.
“It’s such a contemporary exhibit,” said Paul Orazietti, the executive director of the Cloverdale BIA. “An exhibit based on locally-shot productions is exciting. I think this is one of the more exciting exhibits that has ever opened there.”
Orazietti loaned the museum a few pictures that are included in the “Wall of Fame.”
He added the exhibit offers a lighthearted break from life. He said when you have “heavy topics,” such as ones that touch on negative aspects of history, it can be “sobering.”
“That’s a different kind of exhibit,” he explained. “But this one is just pure fun. It has nothing to do with reality. It’s all about entertainment and suspending your view of reality.”
“So from that standpoint, I think it’s great.”
The Museum of Surrey, is located at 17710 56A Avenue in Cloverdale. The museum’s open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Visit surrey.ca/museum for more info.