Las Vegas Huntridge Theater Preservation ALERTS

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lasvegaslynn
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Las Vegas Huntridge Theater Preservation ALERTS

Postby lasvegaslynn » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:11 pm

Lynn in Sherman Oaks

www.classiclasvegas.squarespace.com (blog)

www.classiclasvegas.com (website)

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Postby JMVegas5866 » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:28 pm

Damien
South Jersey

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Postby Josh Geidel » Tue Oct 16, 2007 3:14 pm


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Postby Josh Geidel » Tue Oct 30, 2007 4:01 pm

The zoning abeyance to allow beer and wine sales was approved by the planning commission last Thursday.

There will be an ethnic (Hispanic) market going in place of the old Cima Furniture space.

I had an opportunity to briefly discuss the importance of any alterations to the structure and that it is imperative that those changes compliment the Huntridge.

The proprietor of the market also happens to be a general contractor here in Las Vegas, and, to say the least, he was not initially receptive to my input about design sensitivity towards the Huntridge.

I will continue to try and get in the ear of the market proprietor/remodeler so we can be sure he takes things in the right direction. If anyone else is interested in following up on this topic feel free to contact me.

Josh

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Postby roadsidepictures » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:35 pm

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Postby jenniezane » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:24 pm

any updates on what's going on with this? I have passed by but I don't see a market or any signs of a market in the adjoining building?

Josh, its sounds like you made contact with someone there. Can we maybe touch base with them to "tour" the theatre? If not, can you use your realty connections to check it out? It would be interesting to see the condition of the place and what it might take to make it usable.
Zane and Jennie Donaldson

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Postby Josh Geidel » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:20 pm

The guy I met was on the market side of things. There are actually two buildings that occupy that corner. He was looking at the old furniture store space and unfortunately was not interested in how he might "improve" or historically make his redesign for store front historically appropriate.

I suppose it would be possible to get us in the theatre... it would take some doing though.

As for the market I think it may have stalled-out?

A Los Compadres went in across the street... so maybe that diminished their interest in the costs associated with converting the old furniture space into a market, considering there is a larger and more competitive market targeting the same demographic across the street.

Lets put our heads together and decide if we really wanna get inside the theatre... if so I will do what I can.

I would personally love to get in there... what a treat that would be.

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:19 pm

oh yeh - i think that would make a great meeting location!!!

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Postby lasvegaslynn » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:36 pm

There is a large For Lease banner across the face of the marquee.

Phone number is 278-8880.


Drove by it this morning.

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URGENT UPDATE!!!

Postby Josh Geidel » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:08 pm

Howdy folks,

Heard through the grapevine that the owner of the Huntridge Theatre is entertaining thoughts of purchasing his contingency back from the Historic Preservation Society of Nevada and TEARING THE THEATRE DOWN!

Action is supposedly set to take place on this in March... at the Historic Preservation Society in Carson City.

I thought it vital to inform friends and fellow community members as soon as possible.

Please let know if you have any reciprocal dish...

AND... SPREAD THE WORD!

Josh

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Postby roadsidepictures » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:28 am

An Article in today's Las Vegas Sun...

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/fe ... struction/

Historic Huntridge could face destruction
Theater owner wants out of state preservation deal

Steve Marcus

Nevada’s historic preservation officer calls the Huntridge “important to the community, to the history of Las Vegas.â€￾
By Joe Schoenmann

Thu, Feb 28, 2008 (2 a.m.)

The owner of the historic Huntridge Theatre, designed by famed theater designer S. Charles Lee and once owned by Oscar-winning actress Loretta Young, is seeking a state ruling that would allow him to destroy the building, leaving Las Vegas nostalgia buffs in stunned silence.

The Huntridge has been so prized by preservationists that, in recent years, the state has picked up $1.6 million in costs to renovate and maintain the 64-year-old building.

The current owner, Eli Mizrachi, wants to repay the state the money so he can decide the fate of the building without being obligated to the state. One person who has worked with Mizrachi on the building said he wants to raze it to build a high-rise office building on the 3-acre site at Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway.

The previous owner had promised to preserve the building. Mizrachi’s request to get out from under that promise will go before the state’s Cultural Affairs Commission next month. Mizrachi did not return calls over two days for comment.

Huntridge supporters hope they can thwart the wrecking ball.

“What a great opportunity for the city to step up to the plate,â€￾ said Brian Alvarez, a curator and urban historian born here 33 years ago. “They saved the Fifth Street school, they’re doing the old post office, they’ve saved La Concha. Now it’s time to save the Huntridge.â€￾

Councilman Gary Reese, whose ward includes the theater, said he understands the value of the location for other purposes. “I would like to see it stay what it is,â€￾ he said, but added that he would not ask the city to spend money to fight for it.

Built in 1944, The Huntridge was designed in the Streamline Moderne style exemplified by the form and finish of the Hoover Dam. S. Charles Lee, who designed the theater, is credited with 400 theaters in California and Mexico in the 1930s and ’40s. Because of its unique styling, the Huntridge has been used as a location for films such as “Batman Forever,â€￾ “End of Daysâ€￾ and “Man on the Moon.â€￾

Mizrachi purchased the property in January 2002 for $925,000 and promptly put UNLV School of Architecture graduate Kasey Baker to work on remodeling the building’s interior and exterior. Her plan would have cost about $2.7 million.

Nothing came of it, she said, because Mizrachi concluded the land was more valuable for uses other than as a restaurant and music performance venue.

When she stopped work, she said, Mizrachi told her he had been approached by developers who “wanted to do a high-rise office building.â€￾

The building’s fate now goes to the Commission for Cultural Affairs, which is tentatively scheduled to discuss the matter when it meets March 20-21 in Carson City.

Over eight years beginning in 1993, before Mizrachi bought the building, the commission granted a group known as Friends of the Huntridge Theatre about $1.57 million as part of its mission to provide assistance to groups “conducting projects that preserve and protect historical buildings used to develop a network of cultural centers and activities.â€￾

Under terms of grants made to the theater, the building could not be demolished until 2017.

Commission Chairman Bob Ostrov-
sky said Mizrachi’s request to buy his way out of the previous owner’s preservation promise might have to be put to the state’s attorney general.

Over the past 14 years, the state has spent more than $32 million on 87 buildings it has identified as worth preserving.

There is no precedent in Nevada of a property owner’s trying to reverse a promise to maintain a historic property by repaying preservation funds to the state.

Ron James, Nevada’s historic preservation officer, said he wanted to make one thing clear.

“That building is extremely important to the community, to the history of Las Vegas,â€￾ he said, noting the Huntridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “I don’t think we should underestimate that. I don’t think we should forget that.â€￾

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Postby roadsidepictures » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:29 am

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Postby Josh Geidel » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:04 am

Thanks Allen!

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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:59 pm

Josh was on local KNPR today with the building owner...

anyone can listen to the broadcast here:
http://www.knpr.org/son/archive/detail. ... ramID=1281

purchased in jan 0f 2002 "as a real estate play" for 925k plus back parcel for 400k+ for a total of 1.3 mil

funny how they talked about the theaters in westwood, ca?

then the host says "people don't relate to that timeframe"

not true at all!

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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:37 pm

sorry - i am listening to this now.

the host asks ron james, "our attitudes towards preservation - in general - we're not a culture that holds on to the past???"
ron agrees with him.
i would say, no. we are interested in saving our past, we have just not been "organized" to save buildings until recently.

------------------

host asks the owner, "can you be competitive with a music venue?"
eli basically answered, "the for lease sign is up there" like this show is one big for lease commercial.

"the state has picked up 1.6 m in costs to rennovate and maintain it..."
the host asks, "are you looking for a buyer?"
the answer, "no. it is not for sale."
this is THE pivotal question.
he cannot figure out how to use it, yet is unwilling to sell it to someone who would save it?

------------------

mike weatherford... good question! after the roof collapsed and floor being filled in... what's left?

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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:41 pm

due to the recent publicity regarding this issue - there has been lots of buzz in the press. Joe Shoenmann is keeping us all in the loop!

my goodness - do a search on las vegas sun site!!!

Saving the past
Demolition of historic movie theater is no way to respect Las Vegas’ history
http://lasvegassun.com/news/2008/mar/02/saving-past/
Sun, Mar 2, 2008 (2:07 a.m.)

In its heyday, Las Vegas’ Huntridge Theatre played such first-run family favorites as 1950’s “Cinderellaâ€￾ and 1967’s “Jungle Book.â€￾

Just before it closed in 2002, the Huntridge hosted concerts by local rock groups with such names as “VooDoo Glow Skulls.â€￾

Now the owner of the 64-year-old theater wants to tear it down.

The rub is that the Huntridge is listed on both state and national registers of historic buildings. Eli Mizrachi bought the Huntridge in 2002 under a contract that required the building to be preserved until 2017. The state has paid $1.6 million in recent years to help with renovations and maintenance.

Mizrachi, reportedly eager to build a high-rise office building on the spot, is offering to give the state its money back in exchange for being allowed to tear down the building — a Las Vegas icon that was designed by S. Charles Lee, one of the 20th century’s most notable designers of motion picture theaters.

Mizrachi’s request is to be considered by the state Cultural Affairs Commission this month.

The Huntridge is built in the Streamline Moderne style and is one of about 400 theaters that Lee designed in the Southwest during the 1930s and ’40s.

Last week Brian Alvarez, a Las Vegas urban historian and curator, told Las Vegas Sun reporter Joe Schoenmann this is a “great opportunity for the city to step up to the plate,â€￾ noting the city already has preserved a handful of historic buildings, such as the Fifth Street school and the old post office downtown.

But the city may not be up for saving the Huntridge. Las Vegas Councilman Gary Reese, whose ward includes the theater, told the Sun that although he “would like to see it stay what it is,â€￾ he is not going to ask the city to pay to save it.

Someone, however, should. Government and business leaders across the valley — many of whom grew up seeing movies at the Huntridge — should work together to ensure that cultural landmark remains intact and in the public domain. Las Vegas’ progress and bright future should not come at the total expense of its shining past.




-------------------------------------

State finances may stunt effort to save Huntridge Theatre
http://lasvegassun.com/news/2008/mar/05 ... dge-theat/

By Joe Schoenmann
Wed, Mar 5, 2008 (2 a.m.)

Historic preservationists, stagehands and some state lawmakers are trying to come up with ways — think “moneyâ€￾ — to save the Huntridge Theatre after a Las Vegas Sun story about its potential demolition ran last week.

Theater owner Eli Mizrachi wants the state Cultural Affairs Commission to let him pay back about $1.6 million in preservation grants made to the theater in the 1990s. Without that payback, Mizrachi would not be able to demolish the building until 2017. The commission will meet in Carson City on March 20 and 21.

Mizrachi purchased the building on three acres at the corner of Maryland Parkway and East Charleston Boulevard for a paltry $925,000 in January 2002. In spring 2007, state Assemblymen James Ohrenschall and Richard “Tickâ€￾ Segerblom sponsored legislation to save the 64-year-old building by purchasing it for $8.5 million.

With state coffers ebbing, Ohrenschall said Friday he wasn’t sure whether he would be able or willing to reintroduce the legislation in the 2009 session.

“But I still think it has a lot of potential as a performing arts center, a restaurant — just look at the places downtown that are doing well,â€￾ he said, referring specifically to bars on the formerly rundown section of Fremont Street that the city has cleaned up.

B.J. Thomas — not the “Hooked on a Feelingâ€￾ rock crooner but a member of the International Organization of Theater Stage Employees Local 720 — says the union has talked about using the theater as a training facility. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, meanwhile, hopes that at least the fluted tower of the theater could be preserved if the owner wins the right to do with it as he pleases.

“The city is the only place in the valley that preserves our history, and I hope that the very least we can do is make sure the Huntridge presence is preserved,â€￾ he said. “We don’t have the money, unfortunately, as a city to restore it to its former glory. But we are interested in making sure we do everything we can to keep its presence felt.â€￾

--------------------------------

Owner says he’s tried to find use for Huntridge
He wants to save theater, he says, but effort has dead-ended

http://lasvegassun.com/news/2008/mar/07 ... huntridge/
By Joe Schoenmann
Fri, Mar 7, 2008 (2 a.m.)

The owner of the historic Huntridge Theatre says he doesn’t want to see the landmark torn down.

The problem, Eli Mizrachi says, is that he has tried many different ways to get groups or the city or businesses interested in doing something with the place.

But no one seems to want it.

“Look, I’m not a bad dude,â€￾ the 35-year-old said. “If you could just give me anything to put in there, I would be more than happy to work with anyone. It’s a pretty old building, it’s pretty damn cool, but it’s really unusable, I guess, because we can’t get anyone in there.â€￾

He said he has talked to the city about using it as a site for a museum. That went nowhere. He has also talked to “theater peopleâ€￾ who came and looked at the space, which was long ago gutted of theater seats, “then never heard back from them.â€￾

Mizrachi’s building is at the center of a grass-roots firestorm, because this month he will ask the state Cultural Affairs Commission to let him buy his way out of an agreement between the state and the theater made long before Mizrachi bought it. Under that agreement, a group called Friends of the Huntridge Theatre received about $1.5 million over several years to keep the building intact. Until the end of that agreement in 2017, Mizrachi can do nothing with the building.

But if he is able and allowed to pay back the money, he could do with the building as he pleases, as soon as he wants. Though he had long ago thought of putting up an office building there, he said this week that’s now out of the question.

Built in 1944 and once owned by 1947 Oscar winner Loretta Young, the structure worked as a movie theater for 40 years. It reopened in 1993 as a performing arts center. Various musical acts played there, including Sheryl Crow and Kelly Osbourne, daughter of rock star Ozzie Osbourne, in 2003. Its last show was in 2004.

Residents are starting to organize to save the theater.

Randa Reiff Shea wrote the state that a son, Brendan, was so inspired by the Huntridge that he applied for and is now in the architectural program at UCLA.

“When I called Brendan last Sunday to read out loud to him the Sun’s article on the Huntridge Theatre, I was surprised to learn that Brendan already knew the name of the architect who had designed the Huntridge Theatre and the style of the Huntridge’s architecture,â€￾ Shea wrote.

Meanwhile, Huntridge preservationists have secured a Web site address, SaveTheHuntridge.com, and will meet at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Downtown Cocktail Room, 111 Las Vegas Blvd., to voice their concerns and share ideas.


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