Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Crest to become a Performing Arts Center?

I was listening to the K Street streetscape plan this last Tuesday on the city website when something caught my ear. One of the speakers was Jim Brennan, his company are the ones renovating the Atkins Building(?) at 10th and K (NE corner)into office condos and ground floor restaurant space. He said they have also acquired the Kress Building, 920, 924, 930 K Street (which are the 3 buildings on south-west most section of 10th and K) and the most intriguing, The Crest Theater.

He said they are looking to reposition The Crest into a performing arts center.

He's a Juilliard School graduate that has done projects in the Gaslamp, SOMA and says was one of the drivers behind the Louise Davies Symphony Hall in SF, along with work on the Opera House and Ballet Building.

We know The Crest shows a lot of films, speakers, music, comedy, festivals, some live theatre, and other events, but seeing The Crest as a performing arts center as well would be a pretty darn cool thing in my mind.

The main auditorium could be a nice mid-sized venue between the community center theatre, music circus, memorial auditorium, which are too big for most, and places like Thistle Dew or The Geery. An upgrade (I don't mean a major structural change for you preservationists) could maybe allow the main stage to be another midsized venue for more live theatre performances that seems to be really needed in this city.

The only thing I have to go on is what I heard from him speaking for 3 minutes, so there isn't much to go off of. There was no mention of the actual plans or ideas, but I would really like to find out what they are.

I'm very interested to see if they will still keep all the events that currently take place and will be able to make it work for another live performances as well. The other possibly I thought was maybe they were thinking of taking The Crest Cafe that is part of the building and turning it into a small theatre, that seems less likely though.

The only thing I was able to find was something off the Carrier Johnson website that lists "Crest Theater Mixed-Use Development | Sacramento, CA"

The Davies Hall was the work of 15 years of effort in a city with lots of corporate money and wealthy people, along with 5M (1980s money) from Louise Davies, 10M from the city, and other funds from companies and people. Any type of performing arts venue takes a long time to come to fruition in any city, let along a smaller one like Sacramento.

As I have mentioned before, philanthropy has been on the rise over the last few years, let's see if that pays off here.


wburg said...

All I know is that I'm going to be wicked pissed if they can't do the Trash Film Orgy there anymore.

There is already plenty of room/space for plays to occur in the Crest: there are backstage wings on both sides, with dressing rooms in the basement. You'd need to rework the front stage area so the wings weren't exposed, and a catwalk above to fit things like lights and sets that could be raised and lowered.

I suppose I just don't see the point. The Crest is great, it's beautiful, it's economically successful and has a good business model. Why mess with it? It would also further limit the number of independent art-house screens in town--something else this town seriously lacks. I suppose I'd like to hear more before I pass judgment, but I'm a bit leery about this sort of thing. And I'm very worried about sacrificing what the Crest is for some nebulous thing that it "could be." If it ain't broke--why fix it?

LivingInUrbanSac said...

Well, until I see what they are actually planning, I couldn't say if it's worth it to "mess with it"

It only vague at this point since we don't know what the details are. Hell, they may not even have a full idea yet. I only heard him talk for 3 minutes.

I can't see how the thought of adding more performing arts shouldn't be looked at or doesn't have a point to it though. I think it's very exciting. The Crest is far from broke and as you said does thrive, but there are almost always ways to make things better, and adding or improving venues is always worth a look.

Liv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LivingInUrbanSac said...

There are no renderings or details on the website other than "Crest Theater Mixed-Use Development" listed as a project.

Here is the link though:

From here, click on "Mixed Use" and a list of projects come up, one is The Crest. (the page will keep blinking for some damn annoying reason though)

LivingInUrbanSac said...

Articles in the Bee and Journal. No new info though

LivingInUrbanSac said...

Ms Troublemarker - Not sure why your post got deleted..sorry.