The Pasadena Playhouse’s return to live theater shows became a little easier as the historic official state theatre of California received a $1.6 million check from State Assemblymember Chris Holden in a presentation at the theatre Tuesday evening.
The $1.6 million check is earmarked for the revamping of the theatre’s HVAC system to safely allow patrons to once again attend live performances. It was presented just prior to the start of the season’s first 2021-2022 production, Head over Heels, featuring the music of The Go-Go’s.
As Pasadena Playhouse Producing Director Danny Feldman explained, “This check means that we are here tonight. We are able to open safely.”
“One of the big problems with reopening arts organizations, in particular, is the ability to make sure we’re gathering safely,” Feldman said. “We have a fully vaccinated and fully masked audience… but one of the challenges has been that this 100-year-old historic building, an iconic landmark, has a rather old HVAC system. Our commitment to our community is that we will be there for them, and we will come back, but only as soon as it can be done safely.”
Assemblymember Holden, who led the effort in the State Assembly to fund the HVAC rehab, recognized the value of the theatre.
“This theatre is very much a part of the fabric of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, but it is much more than that, and over the last five years, we’ve been educating the state of California that this is the official state theatre, as as such they have a responsibility to put resources behind its upkeep and preparing it for its future.”