Letter to the Editor: Bring back local control of Downey Theatre

Dear Editor:

September is the month that would mark the beginning of a new season of musicals from Downey Civic Light Opera. These appealed to folks from many backgrounds and all age groups. Truly, the apex of art and culture for Downey and surrounding areas.

Sadly, this long standing and beloved organization was forced out of existence in 2013 by a group known as VenueTech Management Company. The decision to bring in Northern California-based VenueTech was not a well thought out one. In addition to driving out their largest and oldest tenant (along with the huge sum of rent it paid), VenueTech has been fleecing the city for thousands of dollars. The civic theater could be ran efficiently on 2/3 of the funds that currently are spent.

I implore the mayor, the Downey city council, and the head of the parks and recreation department to please replace VenueTech with a staff of city employees to run the theater (as was in place up until 2010). Negotiate for the return of Downey Civic Light Opera to its rightful home, give full support to the Downey Symphony, bring back the Travel Film Series on Sundays.

Allow these groups, as well as others to shine again and the benefits to the city and local businesses will be numerous.

Mike Sanburn
Bellflower