By Terri Shettle
Executive Director, SCNA
Since the last theater update in 2005, we have logged more than 600,000 people, 3,000 shows, and 42,000 hours of activity in the Sierra 2 Theatre. The update in 2005 included new carpet, re-upholstered seats, refinished stage floor, some electrical improvements, and new paint throughout. With the amount of traffic flowing through the theater, a renovation is long overdue.
Discussions about improving the theater have been going on for several years. Serving as the catalyst for a much bigger, long overdue theater improvement project, we successfully submitted a request for funding through the SMAC Arts & Cultural Facilities Grant. Specifically, we were approved for matching funds to replace the 281 seats. For every dollar we contribute to this project, SMAC will match it up to $40,000.
The theater’s seats were purchased in 1979, after decades of use at Memorial Auditorium. While having them reupholstered extended their life, it is past time for replacement. With this significant funding now available, we have the opportunity to replace the seats while also taking on all the necessary updates to bring the theater back to its full ‘experience’ potential.
The 24th Street Theatre was built as part of the Sierra School and is used for large meetings, lectures, film screenings, musical, theatrical and dance performances. The interior architecture, including wood beams and chandeliers, stage and dressing rooms date to the original construction of the auditorium in 1929.
Some of our frequent occupants of the theater include Front Street Animal Shelter, Young Actors Stage, Presley Theater Group, Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento, WIC, Environmental Council of Sacramento, Sacramento Natural Food Co-op, Wild & Scenic Film Festival and the Community Writers of Squaw Valley.
The renovation of the theater will enable continued use by our family of renters as well as attract other groups, such as musicians, notable speakers, performing arts festivals and other engagements that promote cultural connections.
As in 2003, we will be asking for community support to undertake this big project. In addition to the seat replacement, the theater needs a new roof, new carpet, stage floor, curtains, house lights, and general cosmetic updates. The HVAC system will likely also need to be addressed.
These improvements are expected to cost about $125,000. Community contributions will help bring the project to fruition without jeopardizing other important parts of our work.
More information and details will be coming soon. Visit sierra2.org for information on making contributions, volunteering, or offering expertise. Plan to give on Big Day of Giving, May 4, where your dollars will get a boost.