Golden State Theatre - Public Private Partnership by mcherald


									     A Public / Private Partnership
Insuring the Future of Theatre, Culture, Music & Events as
   Downtown Monterey’s Economic Business Catalyst

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History is told through the Golden State Theatre. Built as the largest theatre between
San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1926, the Golden State Theatre is a historic treasure
protected by Mills Act status and designated as a historic building. Unique among
atmospheric theaters, the Golden State Theatre seats you in the courtyard of a Spanish
Moorish castle with a hand-painted tapestry stretched over the sky and the sun setting
above the castle walls. From the beautiful mica chandeliers to the stencil work found on
the lobby and mezzanine ceilings to the lobby seafarers mural, the Golden State
Theatre provides a historic building whose rich and living history invites people in and
interacts uniquely with the public.

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The Golden State Theatre is still “the Showplace of the Monterey Peninsula.” But it
hasn’t always been that way. For 30 years, until 2004, United Artists and Regal
Entertainment owned the building. This large, out-of-state chain cut up the Golden State
Theatre and turned it into a run-down, shabby 3-screen miniplex.  They cared little
about the building or the community, and the theater was sorely neglected. 

In 2004 a multi-million dollar restoration was begun by a new owner, and the theater
was revived and reborn as a single-screen cinema, concert hall and community meeting

Restaurants and hotels downtown report notable spikes in business when the theatre is
open and doing what it does best--presenting concerts and events. 

However, in 2012 Monterey Church rented the theatre with promises of continuing to
host live events and concerts but instead focused nearly all of their attention on its use
for church services. 

Now, the Golden State Theatre stands at a crossroads. Listed for sale for $4,990,000
the building will be sold. Potential uses include retail and storage (as has happened with
all too many theaters in downtowns across the country), religious assembly (which
generally limits the use of the building to one morning per week), conference center,

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concert venue, theatrical and dance performances, civic assemblies, school graduations
and assemblies, and general events. The owner has been approached by interested
parties with intentions to use the building for all of the uses listed above.

To insure that the Golden State Theatre remain a community treasure open and
available to the people of Monterey, the city of Monterey could purchase the building.
And if economic times were better, it is likely the city already would have done so. But in
this era of belt-tightening, buying the Golden State Theatre outright brings up concerns
about fiscal responsibility, even for a well-managed city. 

Yet precisely because the city is cash strapped and precisely because a vibrant
downtown is crucial to the fiscal health of Monterey, the city can’t afford not to buy the
Golden State Theatre.

                            The Public / Private Partnership

A unique opportunity emerges: Monterey can purchase a half interest in the Golden
State Theatre with half the investment and a full guarantee that the theatre will remain a
community treasure, economic engine and historic landmark for Monterey indefinitely. 

To take advantage of this opportunity, the city of Monterey would purchase a 50%
interest in the Golden State Theatre for $2,495,000. With this half price purchase, the
city would be awarded 100% controlling interest in how the Golden State Theatre is
programmed for events, concerts, theater, conferences, youth programs, civic meetings,
etc. In short, for 50% of the purchase price, Monterey would retain 100% of the
decisions in how the theatre is used.

The current owner would also have a 50% ownership in the building. But he would
relinquish all control of programming the theatre to the City of Monterey.

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The City of Monterey need not take responsibility for managing the theatre. There are
multiple options available for management of the theatre. The preferred method is to
form a management team called the Monterey Arts Trust that would be comprised of
members from such groups as Pacific Repertory Theatre, the Monterey Jazz Festival,
the STAR Foundation, Monterey Blues Festival, the Monterey Conference Center, the
Monterey Symphony, The City Cultural Arts Commission. This management team would
also contract with a for-profit concert promoter to bring major-act music concerts to the
Golden State Theatre. 

The result would be a repositioning of local arts organizations with offices at the Golden
State Theatre with ready access to a shared calendar to present the art, theatre,
lectures and music from their organizations at the Golden State Theatre.

The current owner of the building would relinquish all control of the theatre but would
continue to be available for guidance and technical support. 

The 50% ownership by the city would function as a public benefit to the community and
the people of Monterey. The city’s investment would be returned to city in three ways.
First, as cultural and historical enrichment to the community. Second, the city would
generate a modest income from the Golden State Theatre in the form of a historic
preservation ticket fee. Every ticket sold at the Golden State Theatre for any concert or
event with a ticket cost of $18 or more would have an additional $5 per ticket Historic
Preservation Fee that would be paid directly to the city of Monterey. This will add up to
significant revenue for the city. Third, the City will realize increased tax revenue, with
special note to the increase in the T.O.T. for Monterey. See the City of Monterey’s
commissioned study on the Golden State Theatre and the TOT tax from 2004.

The current owner would forgo all income from the theatre and would instead receive
income solely from for-profit retail storefronts in the building. This creates a clear
delineation of responsibilities between the public and private ownerships of the building
and affords the city the opportunity to control the future of the theatre for half the cost.

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This plan is a bargain for Monterey on many levels:

1. Half price purchase with full control
2. “Historic Preservation” ticket fee to create substantial direct revenue for the city.
3. Transportation and Occupancy Tax to create substantial tax revenue for the city.
4. Permanent home for the city’s top cultural arts organizations to provide substantial
   cultural enrichment for the city.
5. Tied-in control with the conference center to provide expanded conference capacity
   for the city at a fraction of the cost.
6. Increased pedestrian traffic to provide a more stable retail base for downtown.

We believe that this is the win-win solution Monterey has been looking for.

For more information please contact:
Ryan Flegal, Property Mix, Inc.
310-890-8111 /
CA Broker License # 01315939

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