A veteran New York-based independent concert promoter submitted plans with the Planning Department to revert what was once the Playhouse Theater at 1234 West 7th St. back into an entertainment mecca for central city residents. Bowerly Left LLC will present their project at tonight's Westlake South Neighborhood Council Board Meeting.
Bowery Left LLC's backers know the live music venue business. The applicant - through its parent company, Bowery Presents - owns and operates several venues in New York City, most notably the Bowery Ballroom (a 550 capacity venue voted the "Best Venue in America" by Rolling Stone Magazine on several occasions, according to the applicant). The company owns theaters in other East Coast states; the Playhouse Theater site would be its first site outside the Eastern time zone.
The developer's Conditional Use Permit request is to rehabilitate the 9,453 square foot theater and restaurant so it can accommodate a total of 440 seats or 708 patrons, allow alcohol sales from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, and allow live entertainment and incidental patron dancing. The developer also is requesting a Project Permit Compliance to allow the change of use from print shop back to theater and restaurant and to allow a new marquee on its facade. The project is located within the Central City West Specific Plan area.
The Playhouse Theater operated from its opening in the early 1910s to 1960. It was a print shop for about 50 years and is currently a violin repair store.
The applicant's representative said that the print shop conversion didn't hurt the integrity of the theater. The marquee is gone, but the existing domed ceiling, the original lobby area, and the stage are intact, which the rep says will make the conversion back to a live music venue easier and less impactful on the 100-year-old building.
The applicants submitted a petition with several signatures of support with their packet to the Westlake South Neighborhood Council. Tonight's WSNC meeting at the Royal Palms Recovery Center (360 S. Westlake Ave.) starts at 6 p.m.
The project's draft Mitigating Negative Declaration was published last month and the Zoning Administrator's hearing for the Conditional Use requests was held earlier this month. A decision letter has not been issued yet, however.
Westlake South Neighborhood Council agenda:
Planning Department case:
Bowery Presents Wikipedia entry: