Letter to the Editor:
As I wrote last month, these days I’ve got my knickers all in a twist about the fate of the Burbank Little Theatre in George Izay Park. The 70-year old structure is set to be demolished in the coming renovation and redesign of the park as a whole. The city says that the building has outlived its useful life and will be replaced with a new performance space/theatre. I asked to know more and got a very quick response from Parks, Recreation and Community Services. Soon enough, Deputy Director Diego Cevallos walked me and some very smart friends through the old building. He brought us up to date on the process and how the city drew its conclusions. He listened to our questions and answered those he could.
Sad to say, the structure has long ago seen its best days. Building code issues, asbestos, and general decay make it clear it can’t be saved. But I still found myself inspired by what was there and how that old design might influence the theatre that replaces it. An actual modern theatre, with dedicated stage and seating, dressing rooms, makeup, wardrobe, props, set storage, etc., a theatre that embraces technology in sound, lighting, and things like livestreaming — and most importantly, one that is accessible and affordable to those who wish to use it. I do like imagining that and said so. (And I was thrilled to hear that replacing it with a “multi-purpose room” was not part of the plan.)
Another informational meeting will take place in mid-December, one which will include the firm heading up the park renovation and a specialist in performance spaces. I think there’s going to be a lot of interest — as much as City Council saw regarding the Burbank Center Stage when 100 speakers took part in public comment. Thanks to Mr. Cevallos along with Parks & Rec Director Marisa Garcia for welcoming us into the future of Burbank’s “Playhouse In The Park.”