City Beat

See which Sacramento performing arts venue may get a $1 million boost

An artist’s rendering shows a conceptual design for a renovated amphitheater in Sacramento’s Land Park.
An artist’s rendering shows a conceptual design for a renovated amphitheater in Sacramento’s Land Park.

You may not even know it’s there, but an historic outdoor amphitheater sits in the middle of Land Park.

It hosts a summer Shakespeare festival and a handful of school events. Most days, its stage is used by playing children or napping adults.

But after years of scraping together cash to renovate the William A. Carroll Amphitheater, a years-long effort to bring new life to the venue is about to get its biggest boost.

The city of Sacramento’s annual budget includes a $1 million contribution to the renovation project. That funding – expected to be approved when the council votes on the budget Tuesday – means design work and construction could soon begin on the venue.

“There’s a host of things we could do there, if we just had a better facility,” said Councilman Steve Hansen, who represents the Land Park area. “It deserves investment. It’s really suffered.”

The amphitheater is a Great Depression-era performing arts venue that hasn’t been rehabbed since the 1960s. The seats are uncomfortable and performing arts group have to bring in their own equipment.

City staffers peg the renovation price tag at around $2 million. The plans call for possibly adding restrooms, installing more comfortable seating, improving the sound and lighting systems and building dressing rooms for performers.

If the city gets the project right, Hansen thinks the amphitheater could one day host movie nights, more theater and performances by the Sacramento Philharmonic.

“People are craving that,” Hansen said.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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