Restore the Avenue

Dear Editor:Things are sounding and looking good in Downey: BJ's recently opened at Stonewood Center with the highest-grossing opening in the company's history, the Broiler is coming back from the grave and reopening with a new yet very familiar look on Oct. 19, Porto's Bakery has broken ground on their new location in old Downtown Downey, and it's looking better and better that the old space factory will be retooled as the new Tesla Motors. It seems like saving the oldest-standing theater in Downey - The Avenue - from demolition, restoring it and reopening it as the newest and coolest venue for films and live performances just fits right in with the direction our city is heading. Let's continue to preserve our past and make it part of the future of our city! In the past year, our city leaders have seen how our historic landmarks are our biggest selling point. Jim Louder of Bob's Big Boy, and hopefully, Elon Musk of Tesla, have been sold on Downey because we have something to offer that is unique. The same can be said for the Avenue Theatre, a 1925 playhouse that offers something special you can't find in every other city in southeast Los Angeles. Destroying it and turning the site into high-rise, low-income housing would be a step in the wrong direction. Our city leaders have demonstrated their excellent abilities to negotiate wonderful business opportunities for Downey. Let's hope that they can resolve the problem that was created with the purchase of the Avenue with housing monies and make it possible for the Avenue Theatre to be the unique historic landmark from our past that contributes to a brighter future for Downtown Downey. - Kathy Perez, Downey

********** Published: October 16, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 26