Customers at Dragon Dynasty restaurant on Yale Road ate lunch Tuesday unfazed by the fact that the building attached to the eatery was being systematically torn down.
"What are they going to do there?" asked a man coming out of the Dragon Dynasty at about 3 p.m. "Another parking lot like the Empress?"
Minutes later, the crews demolishing the Ewert Building pulled down the facade, crashing glass, steel and air conditioning units on to Yale Road.
Another passerby was amazed to see the now exposed western wall of the Paramount.
"Wow, look at that. Nobody's seen the side of that building in how many years?"
Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO) president John Jansen was among those watching the demolition of the CEPCO-owned building.
He told the Times he spent some time inside the Oasis Outreach Society food store next to the Paramount making sure the demolition wasn't too disruptive.
In February, CEPCO- an economic development entity set up by, and owned by, the City of Chilliwack-offered to demolish the Paramount Theatre at no cost to the city, since it intended on demolishing the Ewert.
Demolition of the Paramount won't occur until January.
The cost to tear down the Paramount came in at $343,000. The cost to demolish the Ewert Building was $130,000. Add $7,155 for bonding and insurance plus $5,000 for removal and transportation of the Paramount sign and the total CEPCO bill to demolish the two buildings is $485,155. Add 12 per cent HST and the bill will be closer to $550,000.
Of the $130,000 bill to demolish the Ewert, 72 per cent, or $94,000, was slated just for hazardous material removal and disposal.