Avenue Theatre plans

Dear editor:I have been following the proposed development of the Avenue Theater site in Downtown Downey very closely. Information that was disclosed in the community meeting I attended at the Downey library a few months back, as well as articles written in the Patriot, lead me to believe the city is missing the chance of a lifetime to bring our downtown back to what it once was. This area is the heart of our city. It has the potential to be the spot where families congregate and people go to shop and relax. I'm confident that many Downey residents also share my views. I find it very disappointing the City Council cannot see that they are making a huge mistake in turning the Avenue Theater into a low income/condo housing project. I understand they have purchased the building with housing funds, but I believe it is their intention to sell it off to the developer that accepts the cities' terms for renovation. If this is the case, why can't they sell it to a developer who would be willing to restore the former "movie palace" and turn it into a place we can use for community events? It has been proven time after time that communities which invest in restoration of landmarks, such as the Avenue, can reap great rewards. Recently, the Fox Pomona, the Riverside, and the Alex Theater in Glendale have been restored to their former glory. The city of Los Angeles has a plan to restore the Theater District in their downtown area. I don't believe these cities would pursue projects like these if they didn't think they would be successful. The whole idea behind the restoration of these theaters is to create business for the downtown which would allow for these places to come alive again. Over the past 50 years, the city of Downey has been trying to re-invent its own downtown. Has it worked? I believe the answer is no. A quick drive to Downtown Downey will prove my point. Nothing has really been successful downtown for at least 50 years. This needs to stop. The people of our community don't want more housing; we want history, art and culture in our lives. The Avenue Theater is the perfect place for this to happen. Please don't set our downtown on a course designed to fail. I would like to encourage readers to get involved and allow your voice to be heard. Please send me an email to preservedowneyhomes@yahoo.com to find out how you can get involved and make a difference! - George Redfox, Downey

********** Published: April 24, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 1