California Forum

Conversation / New performing arts theater

A call for Sacramento to build a new performing arts center got mixed reaction.
A call for Sacramento to build a new performing arts center got mixed reaction. Sactown Magazine

Last Sunday’s conversation by Rob Turner urges the city to reconsider refurbishing the Sacramento Community Center Theater and to build a new performing arts theater (“Refurbishing theater a terrible deal for city”; Forum, Jan. 31). We asked: Are you in favor of building a new performing arts center? Why or why not?


Old theater doesn’t mean it’s bad

Rob Turner’s article on the sorry state of our “brutal” Community Center Theater fell short on presenting visionary facts or data that might inspire Sacramento-area residents to push for and pay for a new performing arts venue.

The new B Street Theater being built on land donated by Sutter Medical Center had concrete plans and yet took years to finalize. Our $507 million new arena garnered support through splashy NBA and political hoopla.

As a regular attendee to our barely used theater, I can attest that the facility is in dire need of refurbishing. But I am not convinced that a brand new building would serve the region better. I have attended mesmerizing performances on Broadway in historical theaters far older than anything in Sacramento. Would Jerry Seinfeld make fun of the Eugene O’Neill or Curran Theater? Just because something is old does not make it bad.

Martha M. Coe,


No to refurbishing the old theater

Rob Turner hit all the right notes in his piece on why we need a new performing arts center. It was music to my ears. The city needs to think “outside of the (concrete) box” of the Community Center Theater and put money into a new location and state-of-the-art building.

Jean Alford, Sacramento

Sac needs a new community theater

Thank you for publishing Rob Turner’s piece. I completely agree with the author. A refurbished convention center is not a smart move for a city that is striving to progress and build on the current downtown renovation. A new performing arts center should be the No. 1 priority for the next mayor of Sacramento.

Mary Reddick, Sacramento

New theater would bust the budget

I don’t pay taxes to Sacramento, thank goodness, but I can explain to Sacramento taxpayers why I go to the 850-seat theater in Folsom and not to the high-overhead elephant in Sacramento.

The distance from my place to Folsom is the same as from my place to Sacramento. In Folsom, I easily wheel into a free parking space, settle into a seat with good view of the stage. In Sacramento, I fight traffic, pay an arm and a leg to park, then get into a nose-bleed seat far from the stage.

The Harris Center is designed to be able to handle road-show musicals for a couple of weeks, and everyone who wants tickets can get in. It can also handle one- or two-night events of interest to smaller audiences without breaking the bank.

Solution: lower-overhead theater, with free parking to ticket-holders.

William D. Bandes,


New theater for Sac not likely

It’s not about the money. I have attended numerous events at the eyesore of a Community Center Theater and, as a disabled person (I am female), I have suffered the long potty lines. Of course that’s not the only reason we need a new performance art center. The only obstacle is the city’s priorities.

City officials will say they don’t have the money. That was the reason for closing schools and neglecting repairs on others, and for closing pools and parks.

But there were funds aplenty to go toward the new sports arena that costs more than $500 million. Priorities.

They claim it would cost approximately $80 million for a Band-Aid fix on the nearly 50-year-old Community Theater, and it would still be ugly.

It would be a sad day if the only local performances I could take my grandkids to would be overpriced sporting events.

Bev Messner, Folsom

Bravo, Rob Turner!

Thank you, Rob Turner, for saying like it is. Yes, yes, yes. And it’s about time The Sacramento Bee steps up for the naming rights of a new theater near the Crocker. Isn’t it about time for a McClatchy Center for the Performing Arts in our future?

Jeff Aran, Sacramento

Kristine Smith – If you want to improve the reputation of Sacramento build a new facility worthy of the 21st century.

Jonathan O’Gaffney – After “investing” into the new arena, I really think a reasonable update is good enough. Starting from scratch and building a new one is over the top.

Jason Denison – It would be nice to have an updated theater where Broadway touring productions could comfortably play. Crossing fingers for a resolution.

Philip Malan – Yes, if you want the city to evolve and grow (a new performing arts center) has to be part of it.

Bob Reid – Yes, build new one and update and enlarge convention center.