Claremont Insider: Padua Hills Theatre Update (or Creative Destruction)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Padua Hills Theatre Update (or Creative Destruction)

Claremont City Manager Jeff Parker's weekly report includes a brief note about a meeting last week on the Padua Hills Theatre. According to Parker, the state's Department of Alcohol Beverage Control held the meeting for neighbors last Thursday, and about 70 people attended. Residents raised several concerns, Parker's report says:


Approximately 70 people attended the Alcohol Beverage Control neighborhood meeting on April 30. It was a very lively meeting, with strong opinions and concerns expressed. Those in attendance raised concerns about noise from the use of the venue and parking lots, need for greater on-site security, enforcement of City and ABC regulations regarding the use of the Padua Hills Theatre, and days and hours of business operation (inside and outside). Most residents wanted the hours to stop at 9 p.m. weekdays and 11 p.m. weekends, with more conditions on security. The residents may form a smaller working group to discuss their concerns with Arteco and ABC further. Staff is actively monitoring this process and will advise the council as developments come to our attention.

The theatre has applied for an ABC liquor license, and the neighborhood meeting was apparently part of the the licensing process. Arteco Partners, the company renovating the theatre, is shooting for a June opening. That could be a tight schedule, considering the construction is still going on and the liquor license hasn't been secured yet.

This all raises one point that Arteco Partners' recent projects at the Claremont Packing House and the Fox Pomona did not face: the Padua Theatre is smack-dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood rather than mixed-use or commercial areas, and two sides are bounded by homes within about 100 feet of the parking lot with a third side adjacent to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.

There is no similar commercial venue in Claremont, and one senses that the City's and Claremont Heritage's desperation to restore the theatre at any cost could lead them to sacrifice the peace, quiet, and safety of the neighborhood and the Wilderness Park in the process.

Nothing new here. Claremont's always been about loving things to death.