Sutter Theater goes dark
The Sutter Theater is closed again.
Plumas Street’s ailing three-screen venue shut its doors Monday for an indefinite period while its owners line up a new operator and remodel.
But it could reopen as a much cooler place. Owners plan to remodel the building and install better air-conditioning.
Theater operator Theatrical Promotions Inc., of Santa Rosa, learned Friday that its lease was not going to be renewed by the building’s owners, said Dan Tocchini, the company’s president.
It was decided to close the theater rather than finish out the lease to avoid renewing film contracts that would continue past the lease end, said Tocchini.
Movie buffs can hope for an improved theater when it reopens. No date is set.
Sutter Theater co-owner Russ Clark said talks with another unidentified theater operator are ongoing and could be wrapped up by the end of this month.
But the theater will not be reopened until it is fixed up, said Clark.
“It’s got to be remodeled,” Clark said.
Clark said the venue could not be remodeled while it was being operated by Theatrical Promotions, so it was going to close when the lease expired June 17.
Tocchini said there was not enough money in the lease agreement to pay for remodeling.
Clark was optimistic that a new agreement to operate could provide some money for remodeling, which would help secure a loan to pay for the repairs. It was too early to set an opening date, said Clark.
About $250,000 in improvements could be in the works for the 11,000 square-foot building including new seats for two of the screens, improved heating and air-conditioning, and restrooms that are more accessible to people with disabilities.
Monday marked the second closure of the Sutter Theater in less than five months. Numerous building code and health violations were found at the theater on Dec. 15, prompting city officials to close the venue. It reopened Feb. 2 after the building code violations were corrected.
The 11,000 square-foot Sutter Theater building was built in 1950 and seats close to 600 people.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.