A Blog by Cabel Sasser

Storyeum Soundtrack

We were visiting Vancouver, BC, sometime in the mid-2000’s, and a giant bulb-lit sign on the street caught our eyes: “Storyeum“.

You see, in those early millennial Metreon days, anything felt experientially possible. The Storyeum was described as a live, theatrical, musical, multi-room, underground, historical experience, teaching the history of Vancouver, BC, filled to be the brim with actors, with shows every half hour, and the whole thing accessible with a quick ride one of the world’s largest elevators.

I was overwhelmed with urgency.

“Nicole we have to go do this right now before it’s gone

(Incidentally, this was also my argument for urgently doing the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, an experience my family extremely loved and one that I think about often and a situation I’m still surprisingly sad about, but that’s another post.)

I’ll do my best to describe our Storyeum experience. Tickets were $20, and it was amazing — absolutely as advertised. I don’t mean amazing as in perfect and flawless, but amazing as in totally worth it. We rode an enormous round elevator down to a basement. We went from giant underground room to giant room, filled with impressively large sets, including a moving train, rain effects, and very very hard working actors singing their hearts out to teach us history in an engaging, living way.

This is the only footage I have found showing the actual production, forgive the glorious 240p:



We were also two people in an audience of… six.

In some show scenes, the actors outnumbered us.

As you can probably guess, my intuition was eventually correct (at least this time) and the Storyeum eventually closed in October 2006. Maybe there weren’t enough tourists to support it? Maybe the locals were unlikely to see it more than once? Whatever the intention, there was, Starcruiser-ingly, seemingly no Plan B, and the doors locked.

That being said…

I did manage to save one piece of the Storyeum!

On the way out, as I do, I bought the soundtrack CD. And as far as I can tell, this soundtrack does not exist on the internet. I thought I left it in the hotel room CD player (!) but I recently found it in my basement.

So, for archival posterity, and as a present for you, here it is: the Storyeum Soundtrack.

(Download via the Internet Archive.)

Please enjoy some musical Canadian history.

If there’s one basic-ass and obvious piece of advice to take away from this simple story: don’t do the thing later, do the thing now.


PS: The Storyeum is now Vancouver Film School! And the forest set still remains? And the train is still tucked into a corner? (Via.)

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  1. waxpancake

    I found another 30 second commercial for the Storyeum in the Wayback Machine archive of their official website, along with an interactive map that still works.

    I also found a whole bunch of PDFs! This 28-page folio from 2003 appears to be the pitch document with concept art of each section, detailed maps, and production timeline. Here’s the floor plans, membership application, educational activity guide, and regional maps. (Oh, and whatever this is.)

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