Dispatch from the Santa Barbara Bowl

Santa Barbara Bowl staff enjoy hard-hat tour

Last week the Lobero Theatre development team welcomed our friends at the Santa Barbara Bowl  for a behind-the-scenes tour. As another hardworking venue in town who have had their fair share of construction projects, they understand the task at hand.

We’d like to share a bit of a touching letter from Bowl staffer, Greg Kirchmaier, who got his start at the Lobero.

I was somewhat shocked to enter the Lobero Theatre and see it so empty. I am used to the building feeling “alive”, even when it was empty, when it was just me and the Ghostlight, as I tried to navigate my way from the box office to the green room after a long day of ticket sales.

The truth is, though the Lobero is dormant, it will awaken to be filled once again with all the music, drama, and dance that I remember from my years of working there.  The future will be like the past – thousands of audience members over the years, watching friends, family, and international touring artists up on that stage, creating memories to take with them as they leave.

I appreciate the time you and your staff took to give us a tour and update on the progress of your construction.  As another non-profit performance space that has undergone major renovation and construction, we at the Bowl understand what you are going through, and we look forward to celebrating with you in December!

Our thanks to the Santa Barbara Bowl staff for their heartfelt support. If you haven’t been to the Bowl yet this summer, they’ve still got great shows coming up.

Encore: Lobero Behind the Scenes

August’s construction gallery offers a once-in-a-lifetime view

Preservation work in August included one of the most interesting new views–up close and personal with the Lobero’s ceiling. Check out pics from on top of the 30 ft scaffolding built during this video. The ceiling’s textures are much bigger than I had anticipated, and very much in need of some touchup paint. In addition, there’s extensive ducting work above, so not only is the crew hiking 30 ft up to the ceiling, they prop smaller ladders up, and climb even higher.

Another detail to point out is a close-up of a Shakespearean drama mask; did you know those guys–both Comedy and Tragedy–are carved into the top of each pillar in the Lobero’s auditorium? They’ve been up there this whole time. A part of Encore: Lobeoro is refurbishing and highlighting clever architectural details like these. Be sure to look closely for unique touches like that once we reopen in December.

I give you, August at the Lobero’s once-in-a-lifetime viewpoint in this month’s gallery, below (… from above … you know what I mean.)

Take a piece of the Lobero home with you.

Professional musical equipment, theatrical items, auditorium seats and more are available for purchase until November 15.

Encore: Lobero preservation work is well underway, leading us to rediscover many treasures hidden in storage, which, means one thing – from now through mid-November, we’re having a garage sale.

Lobero SeatsMany items from the Lobero’s warehouse full of equipment and theatrical goods are up for sale, including a pre-1920’s steamer trunk, tour-worthy road cases, amplifiers, lighting & accessories and a handful of seats recently removed from the Lobero auditorium at prices that are ready to move. The seats come in doubles or triples, and need to find a new home by the end of November 2013 — hopefully yours!

Check out LovetheLobero.com/garage-sale for the full list of items up for sale.

PS, A purchase made through the Lobero garage sale is not considered a donation to the Encore: Lobero campaign. Those wishing to make a contribution may do so at LovetheLobero.com.

 

The Big Chill

Meet, the big crane

The Lobero is getting air conditioning for the first time in its existence. This air conditioning system is the thoughtful combination of modern engineering and historical elegance.

To wit: The Lobero Theatre was built in 1922 with no internal ducting structure whatsoever. In order to incorporate the comfort of a heating and air conditioning system into the auditorium, engineers and designers had to go deeper. In order to retain the Lobero’s historical integrity, it’s key that modernizations like this are not seen or heard. So, we called in the big guns. Experts including acousticians, HVAC professionals, architectural designers and historians were consulted to make sure the new system was integrated seamlessly, just the way George W. Smith & Lutah Maria Riggs would have liked.

As you can see, the solution was to house the big chiller on the roof of the Lobero and adjacent scene shop and add miles of ducting, much of which is underground, to reduce noise.

On August 6 a huge crane arrived at the Lobero to lift components for the new air conditioning system up onto the roof. Check out this 1 minute video snapshot of another milestone event in the Lobero Preservation Project. Video by David Bazemore.

Rise of the Scaffolding

Looking up, up, up at the Spanish Revival ceiling

The next order of business in the auditorium is to refresh the Lobero’s beautiful mosaic ceiling. 89 years of dust, grime and cigarette smoke (remember when it was acceptable to smoke in public places?) have left their mark. It’s time to show that ceiling some love.

Watch the enormous  scaffolding structure build up to 30 ft. tall over the course of five days, bringing the pros eye-to-eye with this gorgeous piece of history.

Thanks again to David Bazemore for his video skills.

Encore Lobero Behind the Scenes

See July’s gallery of Behind-the Scenes construction photos

Encore Lobero is entering its second month of preservation work, which means we’re almost one-third of the way through!

The new restrooms are taking shape with framing in place, and plumbing and electrical coming up soon. New concrete has been poured and other sub-floor work in the auditorium is now done, which means immense scaffolding structures are being built to allow painters to reach and refresh the mosaic ceiling. The ceiling renewal work may be one of my personal favorite touches of the Encore: Lobero scope — I can’t wait to see that iconic ceiling restored to its original jewel-tone glory.

Thanks to David Bazemore for the shots below —

Encore: Lobero Behind the Scenes

Go behind-the-walls with these behind-the-scenes photos

The Lobero Theatre has been dark for one whole month now, and the Schipper Construction crew has been hard at work with demolition. Seats have been removed, the bricks outside the building have been carefully removed and stored for later use, and interior walls are coming down for the (hooray) expanded restrooms.

Ever wondered how much space 680 seat cushions use when stacked? Turns out, they’ll fill an entire U-Haul truck. Check out peeks of original 1924 brick-work and other treasures hiding behind the drywall in these behind-the-scenes photos from June, shot by David Bazemore.

Lobero Theatre Loves Olive Trees

Lobero Theatre Foundation is saddened by the loss of iconic olive tree, but looks forward to Encore: Lobero enhancements

The Lobero Theatre Foundation Board and Staff were saddened yesterday with the removal of an 89-year-old olive tree in order to complete the larger scope of the Encore: Lobero preservation work. Acting as stewards of the historic Lobero Theatre, the decision-making process included input from the city’s Building Department, Arborist, Historic Landmarks Commission, and the Pearl Chase Society.

Encore: Lobero is a $7 million capital campaign undertaken by the Lobero Theatre Foundation Board of Directors for preservation and maintenance work including new seats, improved air flow, expanded restrooms, and ADA compliance upgrades to make the theatre viable for live performances for many years to come.

The Lobero Theatre Foundation Board loves this theatre as much as our fans, and has spent time and resources researching alternative solutions over the last two years. The Lobero olive tree was infected with a fungus, Verticillium wilt, which has been deteriorating the tree from the inside out. Given its delicate condition and impressive size, boxing and removing the large tree would have been impossible without sustaining further damage. Similarly it was determined that the new site work required to meet accessibility requirements would irreversibly damage the roots. We are exploring the possibility of planting mature olive trees that are more resistant to the fungus in their place.

Encore: Lobero continues 140-year tradition of the care and support of the Lobero Theatre from people in the community, including hundreds of donors and an all-volunteer Board of Directors. For more information, visit LovetheLobero.com.