The floor is sand, the ceiling has deteriorated and the roof has holes in it. But the
The city, which owns the building at
There would be no fixed seating, no permanent stage and no food service. Aside from a lobby, restrooms and a spot for storage, it would largely be an "open, flexible, airy venue that can be one thing in the morning and other things in the afternoon and evening," according to a concept plan prepared with the help of city staff and other parties.
As such, the theater could host sculpture classes, lectures on beer making and oil-painting workshops, the plan suggested. It could also be the site of kid-friendly day camps, community art shows, band performances on a portable stage and movie screenings projected on a wall.
"This would be very unique and much different than anything we have," said
The plan says the space could also be rented out for weddings and private parties and used for community meetings by residents on the
"What we have done here is sort of turned around the emphasis," said Councilman
"But the concept that we're talking about here turns that around. It really makes this principally a facility for use for the community."
What to do with the roughly 6,000-square-foot movie theater has been up for debate since it closed in 1992. The city purchased the building for
The foundation tried to oversee a
Instead of a scaled-back renovation, and with a shrinking board, foundation members worked with Henn and city staff to develop the new arts-center proposal.
"While it's been a long and winding road," Henn said, "I'm really convinced we've ended up in the right place finally."
His colleagues agreed. Councilman
"There's a lot of things that just don't work 100% privately," Councilman
The foundation, the Balboa Village Merchants Assn. and ExplorOcean, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students about the ocean, also expressed support for the idea.
"Sometimes the best solution is the hardest solution to find," Mayor
Staff has estimated the cost of construction and design work at
Discussions also will continue with the foundation, the city
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