W.H. Malkin was a a major food wholesaler (Malkin’s Wholesale Grocers was at 57 Water Street) who became the Mayor of Vancouver 1929-1932. He slipped into the Mayor’s office between two of L.D. Taylor’s seven terms as Mayor of Vancouver and remained an important business figure in the City.
He oversaw the construction of the iconic Marine Building and was also the first Mayor of an amalgamated Vancouver, when Point Grey and South Vancouver officially became part of the City. Malkin was also the one in office when the legendary Commodore Ballroom officially opened in September of 1929. The ceremony was led by Malkin’s wife, Marion. It was in her honor that W.H. later dedicated the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park.
On May 21st, 1934 construction began on Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. “The bowl was a gift to the city from Malkin as a memorial to his late wife Marion, who had died in 1933. Its formal name is the Marion Malkin Bowl.” [VancouverHistory] It replaced a circular bandstand with a Hollywood Bowl style structure.
In 1940 the first performance of Theatre Under the Stars took place at the Malkin Bowl, and over the years its seen many acts grace its stage. In 1982 an arsonist set fire to it, which ended up burning through decades of history. Names of performers that had been into its wooden walls were lost but the bowl was soon to be rebuilt. From Elvis Costello to the New Pornographers, the Malkin Bowl is still one of Vancouver’s most cherished live venues.