“We’re opening a café in the side yard. Actually, it’s a mobile coffee cart with outdoor seating.” Valerie Power checks in to tell the Reader about new plans involving the Technomania Circus, which she and her fiancé Bruce Cartier (aka Dr. Techno) operate out of the Victory Theater at 25th and Imperial in Logan Heights. “It’s a hundred-year-old movie theater that was abandoned, and then it was a church.” She says that some people still think it’s a church. “It still has a cross on the front. We’re trying to raise money to update the look of the theater. We’re working with Mario Torero, the artist.” She says they also have the use of the lot next door to the theater, and that’s where the new coffee-cart operation will go. “It will be open seven days a week.” The business name? Café Circo. “That’s Italian for circus.”
On off nights, Power and Cartier rent the theater out to other circuses, promoters, bands, and variety shows such as the Amazing Acro-cats. “Actual house cats doing tricks,” she giggles. “Erik Canzona from the Heavy Guilt had his CD-release party here, with members from the Silent Comedy and Transfer. And Sasha Nothingful, he’ll occasionally stage some all-ages music shows here. The first year, we had the Burning Man Film Festival. That was in 2012. “We’re both Burners,” she says, using the name adopted by people who attend the annual festival in Nevada.
Until recent times, prior to leasing the Victory Theater, the Technomania Circus operated from a house on Commercial Street in Barrio Logan. For the uninitiated, the circus is a mix of live music, acrobatics, weird performance art (Power’s words), and dance. “It’s a funny, bizarre, tongue-in-cheek circus. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
- Saturday, August 16, 2014, 6 p.m. to midnight
2558 Imperial Avenue,
$13 - $15
Café Circo is all about adding to the bottom line. “We’re breaking even,” Power admits. “We lease the theater, and we’re responsible for the maintenance.” She hopes that adding the coffee cart and seating in a garden area will help. “There are quite a few health requirements to operate a coffee cart, she says. “I just got my Grade A, so I can open anytime. But I still have a lot more work to do.”
She plans to have Café Circo open for business by Labor Day weekend. Meanwhile, the next Technomania Circus performance is Saturday, August 16, Powers says. “It’s called ‘Sex, Booze, and Tattoos.’”