State and Federal Grants Help Renovate Royal Theater in Guadalupe | Local News


The renovation of Guadalupe’s historic Theater Royal has received a boost with a $5 million state grant for the project that community leaders hope will bring the downtown area to life.

Leaders and residents of Guadalupe joined the state Senator Monique LimonD-Santa Barbara on Thursday for a pair of check presentations in the amount of $8 million for two independent projects in the small town on the northwest corner of Santa Barbara County.

In addition to the state grant, Guadalupe also received a federal grant for the renovation of the vacant 5,084 square foot theater at 848 Guadalupe St. (Highway 1) and built in 1939-40.

“Today is a really special day,” Limón said, noting that the two events provided proof of the partnership between all levels of government.

The partnership will make the community’s vision for the Royal Theater a reality, she added.

“For me to be here at the Royal Theater is special. It’s about bringing economic vitality, economic boost to our community,” Limón said.

The project will create an arts-focused space for students, families and visitors.

“Every community deserves a space to gather, to come together, to connect and to advance the arts,” she said.

Public funding for the Royal Theater can be seen as an investment, Limón said, noting the locked doors behind her.

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State Senator Monique Limón speaks about the planned renovation project of the Royal Theater of Guadalupe. (Photo by Janene Scully/Noozhawk)

“We will one day open those doors and bring people through those doors and into a renovated space where they can come together and enjoy the arts,” Limon said.

Los Amigos de Guadalupean economic development organization dedicated to Guadalupe’s resilience and tasked with finding funding for various projects in the city, led the grant application process.

Tom Brandeberry of Los Amigos said he successfully applied for a $5 million Federal Economic Development Administration grant, pushing them halfway to the $10 million needed.

“With the senator’s help, we’re here,” Brandeberry said. “This project will be a catalyst for the rebirth of this downtown area and that makes it, I think, important.”

Asia King, a US economic development representative, said the agency is confident the investment will help various industries thrive.

“The restoration of this historic landmark has the potential to create more than 500 jobs in the region and spur millions of dollars in private inventions in the future, and that is what we are looking for at EDA,” said said King.

Funding for the key project came as several businesses, including a gym, seek to open downtown, Guadalupe Mayor Ariston Julian said.

“With this theater we will be able to create energy around what we do here,” said Julian, adding that the theater project will take about five years. “But we want to finish it much sooner than that.”

Plans call for the theater to become a venue for various types of live entertainment. In addition to renovating the historic structure, plans call for an outdoor amphitheater and more.

Garret Matsuura, 2-Year President Guadeloupe Business Association and operator of Arclight Mediasaid local business people believe the renovation of the theater and construction of the community center will be “huge economic drivers for the town”.

“We think it’s an essential part of the city centre,” Matsuura said of the Royal Theater building. “It’s a huge downtown anchor.”

Before celebrating the financing of the Royal Theater, Limón attended a ceremony which took place at the Santa Barbara County Housing Authority’s site at the 1000 block of Escalante Street, where a $3 million grant will fund a community center as part of the Near Escalante development.

The project will involve the demolition of Guadalupe Ranch Acres with 52 units to create Escalante Meadows with 80 units and 194 parking spaces.

Guadalupe has received millions of dollars in grants to renovate Le Roy Park and its community center, Central Park and more.

“There’s a lot going on in Guadalupe,” Julian said.

– Noozhawk North County Editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Login with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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