Sunday, August 1, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 22

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 17th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 51 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 51

Renovations on the Solvang Festival Theater could begin in September

By Karen Garcia

Solvang Theaterfest has plans to update seating, lighting, and sound at the Solvang Festival Theater in time for a shorter 2022 season.

The restoration includes new lighting poles, a remodeled ticket booth, a sound/lighting booth, new stairways and ADA access, and a higher sound wall. 

Solvang Festival Theater set to upgrade its lighting, sound and ticket booth, and increase the height of its sound wall to keep visitors warm.

According to a staff report presented at the Feb. 1 Solvang Planning Commission meeting, the benefit of the project is the increased potential for Solvang Theaterfest, the nonprofit which runs the theater, to encourage visits to the community and provide services for tourists. 

During the meeting, Solvang Theaterfest board chair Chris Nielsen said construction on the theater would begin the second week of September. 

“Our desire is that it would complete in time so that the [Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA)] could come in for 2022 in July and have an abbreviated season. Typically their season runs from late May until early September,” Nielsen said. 

The board is confident that the 10-month construction period will be completed in time for whatever activities are possible next summer along with an abbreviated PCPA season, he said. 

In a Feb. 12 Facebook post, the Solvang Festival Theater said that the facility has been enjoyed by the community and visitors for five decades but is in need of repairs in order to sustain its legacy as a cultural and community anchor for decades to come. 

“The project will strengthen and modernize the theater, address aging infrastructure, improve accessibility, technical capability, and audience amenities. It includes a complete replacement of the rear wall, increasing the height by 8 feet with cantilevered panels to help deflect wind, capture more warmth, and buffer external noise. Acoustically engineered paneling on the new wall will also enhance internal sound for audience and performers,” the post read. 

The current capital campaign, IMAGINE! Building the Future, has reached 61 percent of its $4.7 million goal. 

At the Feb. 1 meeting, Planning Commissioner Scott Gold said that he felt the project is appropriate and will be beautiful for tourists and locals alike.

“It has a lot of history and brings a lot of joy to a lot of people,” Gold said.

With the Planning Commission’s unanimous approval, the project goes to Solvang’s Planning Department for review in March, and it’s subject to review by the Branding and Design Committee before land use and building permits are issued.

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