Brandon Hernández 5:09 a.m., June 19
From 1977 to 2005, the Sixth Avenue Playhouse/St. Cecilia's offered some of the most adventuresome, commercially successful theater in San Diego. The former funeral chapel was the original home of the San Diego Rep. And when the Rep moved to Horton Plaza, Scott Feldsher and Sledgehammer rocked the walls and gained national attention.
On Wednesday, October 12, the Center City Advisory Committee will consider a proposal to convert the theater into a restaurant.
It's a public meeting in the CCDC board room, 401 B Street, at 5:15 p.m.
A second meeting takes place Thursday, October 19, at 1:00 p.m. Same location.
"The materials in their proposal have a glaring omission," says Douglas Jacobs, co-founder of the Rep. "They never mention that the building served as a successful theater and performing arts venue for almost 30 years. Or that it could become a theater once again.
"The Rep, in its first 10 years there, had a 35% to 45% growth rate, primarily through ticket sales. During that time, we grew from an annual budget of $18,000 to $2,000,000, once we landed in the Lyceum. That wouldn't have been possible without St. Cecilia's."
Jacobs and others - who urge people to voice their opinions at the meetings - say that no one consulted them about the proposal.
"No one in the theater community knew this was happening, so CCDC couldn't have advertised it very thoroughly and, for whatever reason, they didn't take into account perhaps the heaviest use of the building - as a theater.
"It's a 200 seat downtown San Diego theater capable of paying local actors and technicians a living wage. That's a major economic resource! How many local theaters know the city is willing to put over a million dollars into the building, including $200,000 for tenant improvements?
"In short, the people who worked in that building for 30 years have not been included in the process, and it seems as if the final decisions, going to committee and board this week and next, should be delayed for 90 days to ensure due diligence and protect all parties."