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Progress Update

A quick progress update

We have locked in two investors and plan to have proof of funds within just a few days. From there we will assist in drafting a formal offer for the theater. We are working from a solid business plan that shows that the theater will be profitable and bring larger numbers of locals and tourists downtown during normally slow business days, helping to enhance our downtown’s national visibility and economy. We feel that this, along with the support of the community that has been both vocal and supportive, will usher in a new vitality to our amazing city. It’s taken us a bit longer than we’d hoped, but it looks like all the pieces are finally coming together.

Thanks again to everyone for the continued support.

More to come soon.

Kids getting ready for a matinee – 1963

Update – National Event Day Screening of “1984″

by Scott Brown 0 Comments

We’ve overcome some hurdles and are incredibly excited to bring this amazing National Event Day Screening of “1984” to Chico!


Tuesday, April 4 at 7 PM – 10 PM
Chico Theater Company
166 Eaton Rd, Ste F, Chico, California 95973

Tickets are $5 and available at the door, or at www.chicotix.com

On April 4, 2017, over 90 art house movie theatres across the country in 81 cities and in 35 states, plus one in Canada, will be participating collectively in a NATIONAL EVENT DAY screening of the 80’s movie “1984” (www.imdb.com/title/tt0087803) starring John Hurt. This date was chosen because it’s the day George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary. These theaters owners also strongly believe in supporting the National Endowment for the Arts and see any attempt to scuttle that program as an attack on free speech and creative expression through entertainment. This event provides a chance for communities around the country to show their unity and have their voices heard.

Progress Update

by Scott Brown 0 Comments
Progress Update

We are still working day and night for the El Rey!

Hey everybody, we’ve been out of the limelight for a bit, but wanted to assure you all that we are still persistently working to keep our amazing historic theater from becoming just a memory.

We’ve spent the past couple of months in discussions with investors and the current owner. These discussions are moving slower than any of us expected, but are definitely progressing in a positive direction. Our business plan is in its 3rd draft and disseminated to everyone involved, and we are continuing our due diligence, along with the investors, to make sure it is implemented with the greatest chance of success.  We have also compiled quite a large amount of resource (historical, financial and booking resources) that we are making available to everyone connected with the acquisition.

Needless to say, it has been a ton of work so far, but worth every bit if we end up with a operational, rejuvenated Chico landmark.

There have also been many requests from the community wondering what they can do to help. Earlier this year we established a fund at the North Valley Community Foundation and plan to begin a fundraising campaign soon to help with the eventual purchase and renovation of the theater. Every penny raised will be used for that purpose.
You can also leave a comment below to let us know how you feel about the theater and the effects of its potential loss to the community. Your comments go a long way to letting those involved know how important the El Rey is to our city and its residents (it is really important and believe it or not, makes a huge difference)

Thanks again for all your support!

Update 11-23-2016

by Scott Brown 0 Comments
Update 11-23-2016
Just a quick update on our progress. We know we have been a bit silent for the last month or so, but rest assured it’s not for lack of tireless work on securing a future for the El Rey Theater.

We have finished drafting our business plan as well as a 5 year financial projection, and are currently working with an investor to secure the purchase of the theater. Unfortunately,  more details regarding the sale can’t be divulged at this point.
We have also joined the League of Historical American Theaters (LHAT) which offers a community of other historical theater operators as well as some amazing operational resource that we’ve already been able to take advantage of. We’ve also been graciously invited into the Sundance Arthouse Convergence, another incredible resource of theater operators created in connection with the Sundance Institute in Park City Utah.  We are certain that with our own efforts as well as our collaboration with these, and other prestigious national organizations, the El Rey Theater can become a local and state landmark with regular programming that rivals the most well known and profitable theaters in the country.
As most of you already know, our El Rey Theater is the oldest continuously operated movie theater in California, as well as 3rd in the US. We plan to use this distinction to make it a destination location for cinema and performance audiences worldwide not just for the theater itself, but for all of downtown Chico.

Thank you all for your continued support!

The El Rey Theater Alliance Team

Our recent Letter to the Enterprise Record

by admin 0 Comments

Recently, Councilwoman Ann Schwab asked that the City Council agendize the “El Rey issue”, at the request of constituents.  The city was charged to discover if they could protect the theater as a historical resource for the city of Chico.  In response, the city stated that the El Rey Theater is within a historical overlay zone, and acknowledged that the interior murals are historically significant. Information was also provided during the Council meeting proving that the El Rey is currently the oldest continuously operated movie theater in the state and third in the U.S. Any changes to the theater would be subject to the usual procedure for historic buildings in this district. It was also stated that the city does, in fact, have the jurisdiction to declare the El Rey a city landmark.

The El Rey Theater Alliance, a non-profit corporation, is currently negotiating a possible purchase of the theater with the current owner. It never was, or ever has been, suggested that the City of Chico purchase the building, or force the current owners to maintain a business that they no longer want. We are dedicated to finding solutions that work for everyone, and will continue to do so tirelessly in order to keep the El Rey intact, restored, and vibrantly serving our community.

Sincerely,

Lisa West, President

El Rey Theater Alliance

Chico City Coulcil Meeting 9-20

by admin 0 Comments

The City Council meeting went VERY well. All 7 members voted YES to agendize the El Rey issue. We are hoping to get it on this next meeting, October 4. Way to go, City Council! You earned your applause! And THANK YOU to everyone who showed up. I have a feeling our numbers impressed upon them that this is a VERY IMPORTANT community issue! Well done, everyone! We’ve collected roughly 1,000 signatures so far, counting both the hard copy petitions and the electronic petition. Keep up the FANTASTIC WORK, everyone! Sign if you haven’t, and please keep sharing. Please. Thank you!

Contact List

by admin 1 Comment

Here is a list of interested individuals that have the power to save the El Rey.

Please email them and kindly remind them how important the theater is to the Chico community.

Chico City Council
Mark Sorenson (Mayor) mark.sorensen@chicoca.gov
Sean Morgan (Vice Mayor) sean.morgan@chicoca.gov
Andrew Coolidge andrew.coolidge@chicoca.gov
Reanette Filmer reanette.fillmer@chicoca.gov
Tami Ritter tami.ritter@chicoca.gov
Ann Schwab ann.schwab@chicoca.gov
Randall Stone randall.stone@chicoca.gov

City Planning Department
Mike Sawley mike.sawley@chicoca.gov

New Buyers:
Kyle Billlingsley (Owner) kylecarter@gmail.com
S. Martin, Architect samartin@rrmdesign.com

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