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News

Historic East L.A. Theatre to Become CVS Drugstore

goldengate.jpg
A vintage shot of the Golden Gate Theatre (LA Eastside)
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Despite efforts from residents and preservation activists, last week the County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to convert the historic Golden Gate Theater in East Los Angeles into a 24-hour CVS drugstore, according to the LA Wave.Built in 1927, the Spanish Churrigueresque-style on Whittier Boulevard "was built by Peter Snyder, known as the 'Father of the East Side,' and designed by architects William and Clifford A. Balch, creators of the El Rey Theater on Wilshire Boulevard and the Pomona Fox Theater in Pomona, California," notes Wikipedia. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, but closed in 1986. The following year the retail building built around it, the Vega building, sustained damage in the Whittier Narrows earthquake and was subsequently demolished.

The conversion plan is seen as a compromise, and not a total loss, since the building will remain in place, however it will be re-purposed. The LA Conservancy says they will support the plan since "the theatre's most significant features" will be protected. No one else came forward with plans to develop the building, particularly as a theatre, except for the CVS developer. Some object to the fact that the store will carry alcohol, while others believe the new business will remove the blight of the vacant property as well as stimulate the local economy.