Hopes that a locally generated effort to purchase and rejuvenate Lafayette’s landmark movie house have evaporated like film in a hot projector after the trio of locals behind the drive let the city know they are pulling out.
The rub appears to be the lack of available outside financing – any hint of which dried up with the failure of Measure C to make it past the electorate in November – and… parking. Anyone who has ever visited the 75-year-old faded beauty on Golden Gate Way knows how difficult it can be to park the Tahoe anywhere close by – and there were few indications that was going to ease anytime in the near future.
So, along with the high cal daydreams of those who envisioned a Fenton’s Creamery in the space, the best laid plans of Cathy and Fred Abbott and their partner Alex McDonald for boutique-style eating, drinking, and entertainment space appear to have sailed into the sunset.
“Simply put, there were too many circumstances making it infeasible for us to return a theater use to this location,” the team wrote city officials in a farewell email delivered Dec. 12.
The Abbottt/McDonald group had been working with the city and neighboring property owners to inject some life into the theater, the neighboring plaza and, hopefully, find a way to ease the ever present parking crunch inherent in the neighborhood.
A critical thumbs-down rejection of November’s sales tax measure apparently signed the death notice for any rejuvenation plans, nullifying access to funds city leaders had indicated they were willing to put toward saving the now-shuttered theater.