Laguna Beach's historic movie theater undergoes concept review for revival - Los Angeles Times

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The lights may come back on in the only cinema in Laguna Beach.

South Coast Highway Theater

After the Regency Theatre decided to remove the plug, it was leased to the building at S. Coast Hwy 162. After it was unable to obtain a long enough lease extension to make changes to improve the theater and switch to digital screening. Since its closure, the building has remained vacant, although the adjacent shops continue to operate.

, An electric car manufacturer announced on July 30 that it will continue to purchase the historical site as part of the company’s retail strategy. The organization stated that its goal is to open in 2021, awaiting city approval.

The current two-story building was built by the Aufdenkamp family in 1934 and named the New Lynn Theater when it opened in 1935, but the history of the theater dates back to 1921. City staff said that this is the first concrete and steel structure built on Laguna Beach and Laguna Beach. Listed in the city’s local history list.

Amy Mast, a spokesperson for Rivian, said in an interview: "Our booking customer community is concentrated in Southern California, and we have the opportunity to implement our adaptive reuse concept in such a landmark location. This really suits us." An email. The purchase is still being managed.

The concept plan was submitted to New York City on July 16, and its restoration goal is to "transform the historic theater into a community-centric hub that includes retail space, food and beverages, and a theater restored for public programs."

A staff member of the company said: “Rivian sees the project as an opportunity to put the Laguna Beach community into development throughout the year by restoring the historic exterior, modernizing the interior of the theater, and introducing a new public program program,” the report .

The current proposal will reduce the current two-screen, 674-seat theater to a single, 130-seat theater, and restore the original stage and performance stage. The reduction in seating will allow the lobby to be expanded to include public seating and additional space for education and community programs.

The two retail spaces will be modified to have direct access to the lobby, while the second floor will be modified to have additional seating and work space.

Two Rivian vehicles will be displayed in the lobby.

The committee members raised the issue of whether to sell cars at the location. Denise Cherry, senior director of facility design at Rivian, said that the restoration and display of cars in historic buildings would be “brand education”. "A form.

Cheri said: "We really see this war as a war, the purpose is to educate people to electrify the car, whether it is our car, Volt, Tesla or other."

The committee members also asked whether Rivian would register property on historical sites in the state, the reason for the reduction in seats, and suggested the possibility of artists working on site. The chairman of the committee, Pro Tem Anne Johnson, made suggestions on how to rotate the show car.

Cherry said that discussions with current tenants in the adjacent store have not yet started because the transaction has not yet been completed.

No public comment on the concept review.

"I think this is great conceptually. I know there are still some details and work to be done, but I am very encouraged that this project is expected to eventually be realized in the reconstruction of the cinema and provide something for the community." Commissioner Jorg Dubin said.

Johnson and committee chair Susan McLintock Whitin (Susan McLintock Whitin) both encouraged the property to be applied to the state register and required its restoration to meet state standards.

Cherry said: "Of course, we are working hard to open in 2021, so based on the feedback on this and other factors, we hope that we will definitely return to you before the end of the year."

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Lilly Nguyen serves as the daily pilot of Newport Beach. Before joining the pilot, she worked as a freelance journalist and general intern at the Orange County Register. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from California State University Long Beach. (714) 966-4623.

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