New Mission Theater
Fox News's highbrow print edition takes a look at what we can expect:
Under the current plans, the main three-tiered auditorium will be kept partially intact as the biggest venue with 348 seats. The theater's two upper balconies will be turned into four smaller theaters, with an extension added to the main balcony suspended over the auditorium. The five-screen venue will have a total of 556 seats, with some of the smaller venues seating 36 to 46 people, according to the plans filed with the city.
“Restoring it to its original glory is ideal, but then you're left with an 1,800-seat, single-screen movie theater,” [Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse] says. “It doesn't work.”
…One area at risk is the original brick building, later turned into the lobby. Its walls were once graced with silver-leaf murals from the 1932 remodeling, but some may be lost when this area is seismically reinforced and reconstructed. Alamo plans to try to salvage some of the Deco murals.
Sadly, Alamo has to wait until Dec. 5th for a Historic Preservation Commission meeting before they can get the project rolling (and even then, cranky neighbors can further delay things), so the soonest we'll be seeing the theater open is December 2013. But still, beer and movies!
Sadly, we were unable to attend yesterday's community meeting about the plans to convert New Mission Theater into a boozy, 5-screen/900-seat Alamo Drafthouse. However, the Mission Local folks made it over there and took a bunch of photos of all the beautiful graffiti inside the joint (just look at that bird and tree!), which is pretty much the only thing we were interested in checking out in the first place. Do take a further look.
There's some community meeting about Alamo Drafthouse's plans for the New Mission Theater going on in two weeks, and it's going on inside the theater (which means you'll be able to sneak off and explore the place while feasting on some local concessions). Mark your calendars.
Have you ever wanted to live in a weird 70's bowling sign? Well, soon you'll be able to, as Mission Street's Giant Value is set to become a deflated accordion/fancy 110-unit condo development that'll rival the height and majesty of the New Mission Theater marquee. From the architect, Kwan Kenmi:
110 Market Rate Condominums [sic] will inhabit this urban site adjacent to the New Mission Theater.
The project showcases quality and urban living. Meticulous detail 'weaves' the project tightly into the existing vibrant urban fabric. Small meticulously designed one and two bedroom condominiums bring value and density the neighbourhood [sic]. The design utilizes contemporary design and materials to bring idividuality [sic] to the building and dwelling units.
I'm inclined to think that these rendering inaccurately portray the true magnitude of this thing, considering the New Mission Theater marquee is only 70 feet tall and they've designed it to be 8 stories (unless the floors will only be ~8 feet tall each).
Anyway, no word yet as to if there will be any affordable housing, when construction is slated to begin, and how much each unit will be flipped for (but we're hearing rumors that the developer, along with Alamo Drafthouse, is pitching in $1.2m to revitalize Bartlett Street). Stay tuned.
Grub Street brings us the best news we've heard all year:
Alas, we're finally getting word of developer and Medjool owner Gus Murad's plans for the historic New Mission Theater, via the Historic Preservation Commission's agenda for this week. The main item up for discussion at tomorrow's meeting — besides the fight to get some sort of landmark designation for endangered Gold Dust Lounge — is a proposal to convert the single-screen cinema to a five-screen one, with Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema as the operator. With locations already in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Denver, and D.C., Alamo has been voted the number-one movie theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, largely due to their beer and food service, and their policy against playing advertisements before shows.
The proposal calls for the first-floor projection room to become a bar, with the main auditorium space getting restored as a large screening room. Additionally, there would be four more auditoriums built into what was the lower and upper balconies of the theater. Also, obviously, they would restore the iconic, Art Deco, 70-foot neon sign on Mission Street.
As Grub Street goes on to point out, Murad has not had the easiest time getting projects through the city in the past (there was that two year long fight about the Medjool roof deck, and the Historic Preservation Commission hasn't been that receptive to remodeling New Mission in the past). And it was only a year ago that it was rumored a bowling alley would move in to New Mission, only for that project to go nowhere. But let's hope this all works out, because even an 'independent' chain that wants to bring us beer, food, and cinema without making us go to the Fillmore would be welcome… so long as it doesn't drive The Roxie out of business.
New Mission Theater was open for business this week, and by open for business, I mean “people were shoveling mounds of garbage out the front gate.” Does this mean Gus Murad, owner of New Mission Theater and neighboring garbage dump Medjool, is moving forward with his shelved dream project of turning the towering icon into a restaurant and bar, or is he just cleaning the place up to flip it on the market?
Regardless, 25 years of decline and neglect certainly takes a toll on a place: