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LottaLiving.com • Save the Avenue Theater in Downey, Ca. ((Petition))
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Save the Avenue Theater in Downey, Ca. ((Petition))

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:48 am
by retrocool

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:12 am
by nichols
Image
(Downey Conservancy)
I agree that the Avenue theater is terrific and great, but...

The city purchased it recently as it was about to become a banquet hall. Mayor Guerra told me recently that he loves it too but it's walking distance from their huge performing arts center and that it's best use would probably not be as a theater. They don't plan to demolish it, but the most character-defining feature, the marquee, is probably in danger. The rooftop section must have been removed after that 1980s ordinance that almost cost us the McDonald's sign. The use for the theater space is undecided.

The exisitng city theater:
http://www.downeytheatre.com/

The Avenue Theater on Cinematreasures
http://cinematreasures.org/theater/5124/

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:14 am
by nichols
Image
2008

Hey Chris

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:36 pm
by retrocool

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:51 am
by nichols
Let's try to find someone that can take over the space. From a strictly historic preservation point of view, what are we looking at? How is the interior? I saw a picture of the facade during this last remodeling in the '60s and there isn't much there so the marquee is integral, I imagine. Is there an educational use? Does Rio Hondo need a small theater? I see they have a film program listed. Whatever happened to this "Captain Blood" and his kids' revival theater in Orange County?
http://cinematreasures.org/theater/7176/
http://cinematreasures.org/theater/4943/
Wouldn't that be a cool use?
The Alamo Drafthouse experience is incredible:
http://www.drafthouse.com/
a restaurant/bar with a theater component might be a viable option. It's been done locally with places like http://cinespace.info/ , the upcoming Vogue http://cinematreasures.org/theater/496/ and Gold Class Cinema http://www.goldclasscinemas.com/ and to a lesser extent, the Bridge http://www.thebridgecinema.com
Can you share these with the Mayor? I think this last one might really appeal to him. Can deacons drink booze? Hmm.

Again, I totally support the cause, I totally support you and I totally support Downey, but we need to always remember that preservation is about saving buildings and not so much about specifying a specific use for them. We just need to find the best use and try to make that happen. THANKS

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:02 am
by nichols
Here's the image I was thinking of
Image
(Downey Conservancy)
if the '60s marquee was not someone's cup of tea (I really like it) there's not much underneath it to expose.

Save the Avenue Theater in Downey, CA (petition)

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:40 am
by foresite

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:25 pm
by nichols
well, I went out to Downey tonight (Saturday) and sort of scoped it out. You could shoot a cannon down that street. Dead, dead deadsville. In fact, the only people I saw were in front of the mortuary. Even though the theater site has a restaurant on each side of it, the street was empty. This is not a space for a first time restaurant. It has to be a destination place or a place with built in events (like a banquet hall, I guess :( ahem ) Maybe you can find something that exists nearby and wants to expand or relocate. I see a number of galleries that have movie nights... I think this guy does: http://www.hibbleton.com/ or what about these guys? http://www.sarahbaingallery.com/ they were convinced to move to Anaheim recently from Brea...A place with a lot of openings and events and signings.. things like that. is there a specialty video store maybe in OC that wants to expand? Anything from the music scene in Fullerton? Something like the old Foxy's that's now Downey Brewing co.? Thanks, I'm glad to pitch in.

Save the Avenue Theater in Downey, CA (petition)

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:28 pm
by foresite
While you were roaming our downtown ghost town, I was sitting in the Downey Brewing Company enjoying a couple of Harp's, watching the Laker game, and sharing a meal with my kids. Thank you for caring enough to make the trip. Too bad you didn't stop by the DBC so I could buy you a drink! I drove down the avenue around 10:30 and made the same observation. By that time, however, I guess the funeral crowd had gone elsewhere because there wasn't a soul (at least one that I could see!) As you saw for yourself, this place really needs some guidance on how to revitalize itself.

Thanks Chris

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:48 pm
by retrocool
Chris,

Thanks soooo much for all the info on the Venues. That will really help out. I will send those off to the council. Also I wanted to let you know we are getting a Porto's Bakery on the corner of Downey Ave. and Firestone. I think that should bring a bunch of people downtown. Also a new BBQ is opening across the street on the corner of 2nd. and Downey. Thanks for coming down here to scope things out. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner on here, needless to say it has been a busy past few days trying to get the word out. I will post a link to this board on Facebook, maybe we will get some members
Thanks again

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:54 pm
by deanna b

Save the Avenue Theater in Downey, CA (petition)

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:56 pm
by foresite
Thanks for posting these. The theater has obviously been remodeled and renamed through the last 75 years, but never destroyed. It sickens me to think that it will be destroyed because the funds that the city used to purchase it with dictate that housing must be included. Can there not be a compromise, housing of some sort, yet keep the theater intact? Please support the campaign to stop the destruction/demolition of this landmark and sign the petition. If anyone knows of anyone who would be interested in purchasing the theater from the city and preserving it for all to enjoy, please notify The Downey Conservancy on the petition site. Thank you!!

Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 6:22 pm
by foresite

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:38 am
by nichols
Foresite and Downey friends,

May I suggest that you envision the theater as a construction site. The Broiler pictures are actually quite inspiring for this. OK, look at the brick facade and look at the plastic marquee facade, then look at the interior built elements - not the screen and seats - consider those decor or furnishings. You should now identify the elements that you consider significant. Post your thoughts here. I think having a super clear - contractor's view - vision of what you're proposing could convince the decision makers to pursue a more sympathetic plan.

Our new site

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:54 pm
by retrocool