Reusing the Avenue Theatre

Dear Editor:Mr. Lawrence Christon presents a case worhty of the City Council's attention regarding the reactiviation of the Avenue Theatre into a movie house that would exhibit "excellent movies featuring national and even internatinal talents for people who like good movies" which are outside the scope of the Krikorian and only available by going either to Pasadena or Santa Monica. ("Opportunity for Arts Exists in the Downtown," 12/19/08). A fine arts movie house featuring limited distribution good movies, foreign films and classic films would certainly enhance entertainment options to the city's residents. It would also draw from the surrounding cities and greatly help revitalize Downey Avenue -- something that has eluded the city since the undertaking on the sizable expenditure more than 10 years ago to revitalize Downey Avenue. In 2001, a plan to convert the Avenue into a three-screen movie house to exhibit fine arts limited distribution, classic, and foreign films which would not compete, but complement, Krikorian's exhibits did not receive much of a hearing by the City Economic Development Office, even though preliminary studies showed that the proposed plan would add significantly to the revitalization of the renovated Downey Avenue by bringing to it significant numbers from the city and visitors from the 1.5 million in surrounding communities, none of which are served with such venue. The office did acknowledge at the time that the "project could stimulate activity in the downtown area by providing another outlet for entertainment and cultural interests." A three-screen movie house on the same footprint of the Avenue, of a new mixed-use building in its place, let out to an operator, like the arrangement employed with the Rio Hondo Golf Club and Event Center, could become another revenue generator for the city, in addition to helping revitalize Downey Avenue and adding to the much needed entertainment and cultural options in the city, and providing another venue which cultural and other affinity groups can access. I believe we owe our thanks to Mr. Christon for bringing the subject up. Perhaps now that the city owns the property, the city would act on Mr. Christon's suggestion and revisit the earlier proposal for the reuse of the Avenue Theatre. - Harold Tseklenis, Downey ********** Published: January 2, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 37