You may have seen media reports of the proposed new development plan for the Hollywood Theatre. In broad terms, the proposal would see the City allow higher density development on adjacent properties in return for heritage designation of the Hollywood Theatre. The Coalition is generally in support of this approach, but we are continuing to look for details regarding the balance between the extent of bonus density and resulting public benefits.
Although the City’s rejection of a similar redevelopment proposal in 2016 suggested that the City was seeking to acquire the theater in exchange for bonus density, the present proposal would see the Hollywood’s current owner retain the theatre and operate it as a for-profit entertainment venue, bringing live music, theatre, comedy, film festivals, TED talks, etc. to local audiences.
While the proposed mix of programming sounds familiar and encouraging, what seems to be missing is a clear commitment to cinema as a key component. So, while we agree that the Hollywwod needs to become more than a movie theatre, we also feel strongly that cinema is an essential part of the Hollywood’s heritage and should remain a prominent part of its future, both through regular cinema programming and festival use.
Another vital piece of the puzzle, from the Coalition’s perspective, is the Community Use Agreement that the City is negotiating with the developer. It will spell out just what kind of operation is required of the theatre and how much prime time will be reserved for non-profit use. To date, however, no details have been forthcoming because this is still under negotiation. While the Agreement is still being developed, it’s vital that we make it clear to the City that the CUA must guarantee a significant amount of time for accessible community use, in perpetuity, baked into a strong and enforceable agreement.
And, obviously, a final consideration is the design of the new adjacent building and how it will relate to the Hollywood’s heritage and the rest of the street.
Input from the upcoming open house will be an important influence on the final outcome so your attendance and thoughtful comments are vitally important.
The entire development application can be viewed here.
We encourage everyone who is concerned about the future of the Hollywood, and of the character of West Broadway, to attend the Open House and provide feedback to the City.
Meanwhile, we will be providing additional analysis on our website and Facebook page to help keep the community informed – and help ensure the Hollywood’s best future is realized.
In the meantime, the Coalition is requesting a meeting with the City to address foregoing issues and will continue to provide updates on our website and Facebook page to help keep the community informed – and help to ensure the Hollywood’s brightest future is realized.
Open HouseDate: Thursday, March 15
Location: St. James Community Square, 3214 West 10th Ave. [map]