The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is rebranding the Boulevard Casino in Vancouver as the Hard Rock Casino, which is expected to open as the rebranded venue on December 6. The renaming also includes a new title for the Red Robinson Show Theatre adjoining the casino, which a number of Vancouver citizens objected to in protest emails sent earlier this month.
The Red Robinson Show Theatre was named after the disc jockey of the same name, who was one of the radio pioneers that first played rock n roll in Vancouver during the 1950s. Robinson’s career and contributions to the music industry were acknowledged by many organizations, including the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame where he was inducted in 1995.
The 76-year old former DJ spoke out this week regarding the controversy at the casino and show theatre. Robinson told local media that losing his name atop the casino theatre is “totally disappointing.”
“I thought I would have a legacy; there would be something out there after I’m gone that said, ‘Well, he came and he did some good and entertained us.”
When news broke that the casino’s show theatre would be renamed, a petition was launched to prevent the GCGC from changing the name. Over 7,000 people across Vancouver have signed the petition against the corporation, while many others sent letters of support to Robinson in his home.
Chuck Keeling, a spokesperson for the GCGC, says he understands Robinson and others are disappointed in the name change. But Keeling says the decision is final.
“We put a lot of thought, very serious thought into this decision. This was not a knee-jerk reaction. We’re committed.”
The soon to be named Hard Rock Casino is located along the eastern border of Vancouver in the suburban area of Coquitlam, just north of the Fraser River.