Curtain set to rise on renovation of landmark Pittsburg theater
By Paul Burgarino
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 02/12/2010 10:10:11 PM PST
Updated: 02/12/2010 10:10:11 PM PST
Pittsburg is once again setting the stage for renovation of a landmark downtown theater.
For years, Pittsburg leaders, local historians and interested residents have sought to transform the long-vacant California Theater into a community performing arts center they hope could spark a wider renewal of downtown.
After finding funding to take the project off the shelf, Pittsburg recently completed inspecting plans for a structural reinforcement of the interior of the vaudeville theater. The project will be put out to bid later this month, City Manager Marc Grisham said.
If bids come in low, the remaining money could go toward design drawings for the theater portion of the project, he said.
In October, Pittsburg leaders created a long-term plan for future redevelopment projects that included putting $4.5 million toward starting renovation of the theater.
The first phase of the renovation will include seismic retrofit of the interior, a remodel of the bathrooms to meet disability standards, and restoring lobby and retail space in front of the building, said Maria Aliotti, a city project manager.
The facade of the Beaux-Arts style building and building marquee also will be restored. The hope is that renovation starts this spring and is completed by 2011, Grisham said.
Interior plans differ from those desired by some theater advocates, who think current architectural drawings don’t allow adequate seating for the theater
to be a significant regional draw.