Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

December 27, 2005 > Center Theater

Center Theater

Since the inception of the preservation effort almost four years ago, the Center Theater Preservation Group (CTPG) has been meeting regularly and working toward the goal of purchasing the Center Theater for use as a community arts venue. As a matter of fact, a few years ago our city council allocated $25,000 toward the writing of a business plan. That plan was delivered to the city some years back. Since its delivery, there have been a number of changes at city hall. The CTPG is now refining that business plan, in the hope that it will satisfy city staff's desire to show that the theater can stand on its own, without an ongoing subsidy.

The Center Theater will not be the grand performing arts center some in our city desire. What it will be is a place where our diverse community can come together and celebrate what we have in common... a love for the arts, a desire to see our sons or daughters participate in children's theater, a concert or comedy show or one of those "golden oldies" movies we like to escape to from time to time. I should know, as I hosted these types of events in the two months I rented and operated the theater a few years back (Yes, Elvis has left the building... and by the way, the New Years Eve Elvis concert netted a profit of $2,900).

Additionally, I have heard that we are having some trouble attracting nice restaurants to the Centerville Marketplace which we anticipate opening in 2007. I believe that the effort to attract the restaurants we desire would be enhanced if there was an entertainment venue open and operating in Centerville. Yet the benefit to the community will not be limited to just Centerville, as this venue will attract individuals and groups from the entire Tri-City area.

Although this theater will not be the performing arts center that our cultural arts council has worked so diligently on over the past 30 years, the Center Theater will be a much needed "baby" step in that direction. For those that are holding out for a grand center, why would the city build one if it does not believe we can support this small one? So, it comes down to this... we must prove to those that hold the city purse strings that our community will support this venue. This theater must be able to stand financially on its own. Let your own thoughts be known. Get involved with the Center Theater Preservation Group. If you do not know how, email me at One last thought for those that hold those purse strings... sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

Dirk Lorenz

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