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Save the Civic

October 2022, the City Council made formal moves to sell off the iconic Civic Auditorium, long shuttered and deteriorating.

 

Alarmed at the real possibility of our city selling or even demolishing ourhistoric Civic Auditorium, residents formed Save the Civic. 

 

Save the Civic’s mission has always been clear: publicly owned spaces for music and the arts are rare and important cultural venues.  They should be restored, not liquidated, or used for other purposes.

 

The City rejected a plan from Community Corp to buy the Civic and erect housing.  The Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School District’s proposal to acquire the site and float a $250 million bond to repurpose it into a competition gym was eventually withdrawn, in part due to intense community opposition organized by Save the Civic. 

 

During this process, Save the Civic found a credible group of investors interested in restoring this historic building and operating it as a world-class performing arts center at no cost to taxpayers.    

 

The City Council then moved to authorize the City Manager to invite all interested parties with experience developing and operating world-class concert venues to submit proposals for restoring and operating the Civic. Letters of intent were to be submitted by January 31, 2024. 

 

March 1, 2024: 

In response to the City’s request for proposals, four separate entities submitted plans.  

We now urge Council to move forward without delay to select the most credible, experienced group willing to sign a long-term lease (so residents retain ownership!) to bring our Civic Auditorium back to a world-class performing arts and cultural center.

 

For Save the Civic, preservation is about more than saving the hollowed-out bones of a building. The Civic Auditorium is a performing arts center; the only one of its kind on the Westside. We must not let its original use be an afterthought.

 

May 28, 2024:

Our City Council will decide in Closed Session whether to enter into negotiations with RPG (Revitalizing Partners Group LLC), its only bidder, to seismically upgrade, restore, program, and operate our Landmark Civic Auditorium as a performing arts and cultural center.  Santa Monica residents will continue to own the Civic.  RPG will not ask the City for any funds.  RPG is a consortium of Make Good Stuff, Geyser Holdings, Irving Azoff, Oakview, and Live Nation.

 

This is an unparalleled opportunity for our City to renew its cultural importance in Los Angeles.  Save the Civic hopes the Arts Commission and its members will write to and urge our City Council to support this opportunity on May 28, 2024. 

Thanks for your interest!

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