Cultural group organizes

Dear Editor:As we celebrate our country's birthday and all of the freedoms that so many have fought for through its history, we would like to celebrate the formation of a group of Downey citizens who have rallied together to save a piece of Downey history. We thank our forefathers for the rights granted in our Constitution, especially free speech, which includes the right to petition. When we became aware of the city's purchase of the Avenue Theatre with housing monies and the threat this imposed on the historic building, we started making phone calls, sending e-mails, and becoming "friends" on social networks. This modern day revolution evolved through the Internet. An online petition was started two months ago and we met each other face-to-face at a City Council meeting in May. We represent a variety of backgrounds, cultures and ages. We share a common interest in preserving a Downey landmark, so that it can continue to provide entertainment for our community as it has for more than 80 years. We have met numerous times discussing and strategizing how we must proceed. We have written letters to this newspaper and spoken before our City Council. We are now formally organizing as a non-profit group - we are the Avenue Cultural Arts Foundation. Our vision is to have the ground floor of the city's proposed multi-story building, the marquee, and the entrance to the theater restored and preserved as a special entertainment venue where patrons can enjoy independent and classic films, live shows and community events. We believe that the Avenue Theatre is a historic and cultural gem that can and should continue to be an important and vital part of our community. Members of the foundation will be collecting signatures for our petition at the city's Fourth of July celebration tomorrow at the Discovery Sports Complex. You can also sign the petition online at If you would like to join our foundation, please contact us online at or by calling Gary Head at (562) 928-2928 or Kathy Perez at (562) 862-2044. -Kathy Perez, President, Avenue Cultural Arts Foundation

********** Published: July 3, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 11

OpinionStaff Report