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Wasted opportunity at the Park Theatre

Original post made by Patrick Holden, Atherton, on Jun 6, 2006

Why does the Park Theatre site on El Camino in Menlo Park remain a sad ghost shell of lost opportunity? I would love to see something dynamic made of this fantastic locale. So what's the hold-up?

Comments (5)

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Posted by a movie watcher
a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2006 at 8:02 am

How about a theater?

Like this comment
Posted by Sean T
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 7, 2006 at 8:41 am

Who owns the theater? Does the city of Menlo Park have any leverage?

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Posted by Very Tas
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 7, 2006 at 11:07 pm

Here's some information and a few ideas, with contact numbers for taking action
Web Link

I would love to see the Park come back. It's a shame to see a commercial institution go away, and then watch the space decay for years.

The old Cafe Verona location on Hamilton Ave. is another example of this kind of neglect; the landlord should be ashamed of his/her behavior.

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Posted by Brett
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 29, 2006 at 12:52 pm

I would love to see the Park be reopened. However I believe Menlo Park has many restrictions that is holding this back. For example, the beautiful neon lighting that used to show the classic experience of the cinema was forced to be removed. I would love for Menlo Park to allow this theatre to be restored to is once amazing self.

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Posted by winter dellenbach
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 18, 2006 at 9:30 am

Thank you for your interest in the Park Theater in Menlo Park. There is a group of Theater supporters working to ensure the the Theater is preserved - and reopened for film. We have been involved in this undertaking since before the Theater was shut down by its owner, Howard Crittenden, who also owns the City's only other film theater - the Guild.

Go to our website at: Web Link
It has photos of our demonstration before the Theater was closed, of the sign being illegally torn down by the owner, and more information of our efforts to save the Park Theater.

Also - you may sign up for updates and calls for action at our email address:

I can clear up some misunderstandings in the above comments:
The owner chose to close the Theater. Landmark Theaters was operating it at a profit and wanted to stay. The owner wanted to demolish it to build high end office space. However, State laws prohibited demolition because the Theater is presumed to have historic status.

The City doesn't have laws that prevent the Theater from re-opening. In fact, the City has been supportive of it reopening but can't force the owner to do so. It is the owner who chooses to keep it closed. And - it was the owner who illegally had the wonderful neon-lit blade sign cut into four pieces and hauled away early one Sunday morning. The City Manager, police and Mayor arrived on the scene too late to stop it, unfortunately. You may read the subsequent Cease and Desist Order issued to the owner by the City in order to ensure no other destruction occurs.

Please join us in working to preserve the Park Theater for film. Visit our website and join our email list at Ask your friends from surrounding towns to join the list too, particularaly Menlo Park residents.

Winter Dellenbach
Palo Alto

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