|September 10, 2012|
DOWNEY – Those concerned with the rental rates the city is charging to not-for-profit groups that use the Downey Theatre will soon get their chance to take their concerns to two members of the City Council.
The Downey Theatre subcommittee of Councilmen David Gafin and Roger Brossmer have called for a hearing on rental rates at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the 3rd Floor Council Conference Room at City Hall, 11111 Brookshire Ave.
Downey recently raised rental rates at the Downey Theatre to $900 a day, a big increase from the $400 daily use fee the city had been charging for years. To give not-for-profits a break, Downey’s officials this year agreed to charge the old rate. But the price is expected to be hiked up to the $900 daily fee in the future.
Officials have said the city can’t afford to subsidize theater users while the Downey is laying off employees, cutting fire service and putting off major equipment purchases.
Theater users have countered that the venue was built due to efforts of the city’s actors and musicians and that the city should do all it can to keep the city’s groups in the black.
The increase is especially important to members of the Downey Civic Light Opera and the Downey Symphony Orchestra. The increase would dramatically increase the operating costs of each group.
Downey Civic Light Opera Executive Director Marsha Moode has said this year will be the group’s last. The end of the DCLO would be the end a 57 year tradition of having a community sponsored theater company in the city. Many in the community hope the city and Moode can find a way to somehow keep the Downey Civic Light Opera, or something like it, operating.
The Downey Theatre subcommittee is one of several subcommittees that address special areas of concern for the city. The subcommittees usually report information to the full City Council.