Geek out in Vancouver: Comics, games and good times

November 13, 2016

by Mike Archibald

From a craft beer bar with board games to an indie cinema screening cult classics, there are plenty of places in Vancouver for collectors, gamers and sci-fi lovers to geek out. If you’re into comic books, video games and vintage cinema, check out these local haunts where you can indulge your inner nerd and commune with fellow fantasy fans.

Geek out in Vancouver: Comics, games and good times

Tazmanian Comics

Tazmanian Comics has been in the comic book business for 25 years and counting; and that’s just one of the selling points of this treasure-trove. We’re talking back issues galore – popular titles from big names like Marvel and DC to obscure and arcane graphic novels by international authors. You’ll also find memorabilia and board games, as well as costumes for cosplay, Halloween and other dress-up events. Owner Keith Awock runs the store like a pro, but also like a dedicated fan. He and his staff bring an enthusiasm to their work that’s infectious. With positive vibes and possibilities galore, Tazmanian Comics is positively the spot for comic book collectors in Vancouver.

Rio Theatre

Located at Broadway and Commercial, right near the Skytrain Station, the Rio Theatre is an old school cinema with eclectic programming and an array of live events. The revival movie screenings – often held late at night – are great: a showcase of cult, action and sci-fi hits from the ’70s on up to today. Make sure to check their event calendar (or the nearest lamppost in any commercial Vancouver area) for announcements about upcoming shows. That’s where the theatre really shines: from Star Wars and Sailor Moon burlesques to the hilarious Gentleman Hecklers, this venue knows how to get its geek on. Enjoy drinks at the late-night shows.

Storm Crow Tavern

Storm Crow Tavern has earned a reputation as Vancouver’s original nerd bar – and for good reason. This Commercial Drive hotspot airs sci-fi TV shows in the background and, for your playing pleasure, offers a host of board games that range from the popular to the obscure. This is one of the most welcoming, laid-back drinking establishments you’re likely to find, in Vancouver or anywhere else. The mellow crowd is a mix of West Coast casual meets chummy clubhouse. The bar hosts Nerd Trivia nights on the first and third Tuesday of each month, and when you order a pint of beer you can expect a legit 20 ounces.

Movieland Arcade

As a gaming spot, it’s awesome; as a sub-culture hub, it’s essential; as a piece of Vancouver’s ever-vanishing history, it’s of major importance. In a neighbourhood lined with brand-new chi-chi bars – and in an era of digital home entertainment – Movieland Arcade stands out as one of the last holdouts from a time when gaming was a communal, IRL activity. Street Fighter II, Lethal Enforcer, Galaga – most of the old school classics are here and games are only a quarter, just like in the good old days! The arcade was recently the subject of a documentary, The Movieland Movie, produced by filmmaker and regular patron Zachary Kerrholden. “I've been going to Movieland every week for five years,” he says. “It's a wonderful place with lots of fun games – I like Street Fighter II the best – and where everyone is welcome.”

Costumes, games, movies and comics – those are the major food groups for fandom, and Vancouver delivers geek-worthy destinations in spades. Add craft beer as a beverage and you’ve got a fine four-course meal!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu