goldengate

The following is an excerpt of a story written by AlDesmadre for the LA Eastside blog:

Most of us are sadly familiar with the present state of a former Eastside jewel, the Golden Gate Theater.

The property, including the remaining auditorium structure, are currently under ownership by a development company who appears inclined to possibly lease it to a commercial builder. I’ve heard of a proposed Walgreen’s drug store or something of that nature being mentioned. Over the past few years, I’ve undertaken a grassroots preservation effort by networking with local individuals and groups who unanimously agree that this former icon deserves a legacy worthy of the historical and cultural importance of our East Los Angeles community.

I now call out to anyone out there who agrees that this site of the Golden Gate Theater should house something of more significance and better use for the community than another drug store. And now, there’s a small glimmer of hope…

Based on my recent posts on the Golden Gate, I have recently been contacted by the Los Angeles Conservancy to share my efforts with them and present our case at a public hearing scheduled for next week. If you agree with us and would like to support our proposal for something better on that corner, now is the time that we need your emails and letters of support. Post your responses here, send an email, whatever way suits you, and I will compile the entire show of support and present it to the planning commission. And please do it soon! We’re also banking on our faith that Ms. Molina and the County board will also lend their support by reconsidering the current plans for the space.

Imagine the possibilities, An East L.A. Cultural, Arts & Heritage Center, a place for our neighborhood students to rediscover their local history. A place to showcase the images, recordings, readings, history, literature & arts that the Eastside has contributed to the world. Or perhaps a local non-profit could find some wonderful use for it. I especially would like to see the stage and auditorium refurbished and reused again. I’d almost say: “Anything but another drug store!

Thanks to all in advance! Let’s do this. Below is a copy of the L.A. Conservancy’s position letter with the information on the hearing at the very bottom.

Click here for full story.

The web site Cinema Treasures is a great place to learn about the theater history and its impact on the community, like in this reader’s comment: “Growing up, I lived near Atlantic and Olympic and have many wonderful memories of days at the Golden Gate. What a classic, beautiful theater!! I would often just go and watch whatever was playing. I remember one afternoon when my mother gave me some money for the movies and I went there by myself and, as a 10 year-old, watched “Psycho”!! I also loved the set-up, where you would purchase the ticket at the booth at the sidewalk on Whittier Blvd., then walk down the covered courtyard, past the shops before entering the theater. On hot summer afternoons, there was no better place to be. Too bad it has not been restored. I would also love to see other photos of the place in its glory days.”

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