PlainJoe is excited to be part of restoring The Ritz, an historic, art deco theater in downtown Escondido, California. A recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune tells the story of the behind-the-scenes efforts to make the dream a reality.
When Pastor Tim Spivey of New Vintage Church asked us to help them restore the historic Ritz Theater in downtown Escondido, California, we jumped at the opportunity.
What was once the shining star of the city, is now a hollow shell in desperate need of a renovation. But the costs to restore such a building – which has been fire-damaged, crashed into, and gutted – are far more than most developers would care to undertake.
As a registered historic landmark, there are also many bureaucratic hoops to jump through to make sure the property retains its vintage integrity.
Despite this, the members of New Vintage Church are determined to invest in and restore the theater to its former glory and then some.
Plans are underway to utilize the theater as a worship space for the church. Throughout the week, the theater will belong to the community as the church will offer it as rehearsal and performance space for schools, arts programs, and touring performers.
The theater’s downtown location positions it as an anchor tenant to the walkable street side shopping district. This will providing a major attraction to draw visitors while introducing them to all the other tenants along the way.
The Grand will open in 2019 as a performing arts venue and studio featuring live theater events, films, concerts, and art galleries all year long. Schools, dance and theatre groups will use the studio space to prepare for performances.