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.)

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.

Into the Vault

Welcome to the Lobero LIVE video archives

To borrow a phrase from our dear friend Hale Milgrim, we’re inviting you into “the vault.” Which, in this case, is the collection of Lobero LIVE videos we’ve recently uploaded to the Lobero YouTube channel. We’ve been lucky enough to chat with a few artists as they’ve performed at the Lobero, and saved those videos.

The Capitol Steps made up an original Lobero rhyme in the style of “Lirty Dies,” during one visit. There’s clips of some of the great ladies of jazz, including Shirley Horn, Tierney Sutton, and Dianne Reeves as they sing their love for the Lobero, both on- and off-stage.

Check out Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan‘s impromptu jam in the greenroom, and David Lindley strummin’ away in his dressing room. We hope you enjoy the backstage banter with all these great talents. After you’ve watched, feel free to subscribe in case we’re able to get back to adding to our collection.

Below is a clip from the late Richie Havens who said it better than anyone else, back in 2007:

We love you too Richie. Thanks for the memories.

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 —

Summer Vacation

Tessitura Learning & Community Conference
San Francisco, July 14-18

The LTF recently sent five staff members up  to the San Fran for five days of software knowledge and professional training as part of the Tessitura Network (#TLCC13). We had a blast meeting and mingling with theatre personnel from all over the world and our own backyard, joining our colleagues at the Granada Theatre and Arts & Lectures. Now we’re all armed with new tricks and tips from the world of ticketing and fundraising.

Beyond conference walls, team Lobero cruised daily through Union Square, noshed at the San Francisco Ferry building marketplace, enjoyed an evening reception with a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge, and represented at the conference-closing bash at the California Academy of Sciences (which is a stunner of a museum).

As I once wrote in my Junior High yearbook, Stay cool, Don’t ever change. Have a great summer!!!

The People Behind Encore: Lobero

If you’ve been down Canon Perdido Street in the past two weeks, you’ve seen that the theatre’s renovation is well under way. Here’s a quick introduction to some of the key players behind-the-scenes of the Encore: Lobero project:

Visit LovetheLobero.com for more details about the campaign, and keep coming back for more fun photos and videos of our Preservation in Progress!

Encore: Lobero campaign featured on KCLU this morning

KCLU’s Lance Orozco reports that after two years of planning, and fundraising, work is underway on a major preservation and modernization project for the theater.

kclu_call lettersOur thanks to Lance and to KCLU for covering this story today, and to Lobero Theatre Executive Director David Asbell and the project’s knowledgeable designer Dawn Ziemer for their interviews.

Click on link to listen to/download story: Lobero Renovations

 

 

Encore: Lobero
Preserving and Enhancing California’s Oldest Theatre

We’re putting on our hard hats and getting to work on Encore: Lobero!

You may have noticed some wear-and-tear throughout the building. This theatre has been well-loved, and well-used for 89 years.

The Lobero Theatre is ready for a second act, with the heavy lifting beginning on June 3. We’re going to replace the seats in the auditorium, upgrade heating and air conditioning systems, nearly double the size of both restrooms and bring the theatre up to meet modern accessibility codes with a safe and welcoming entrance. More at LovetheLobero.com.

While the Box Office will be closed, the Lobero Theatre Foundation is happy to answer any questions by calling 805-966-4946.

Stay tuned to this blog over the summer, where we’ll be chronicling the construction through photos, and gearing up for our 2013-2014 Encore Season. We’re keeping up with our Facebook and Twitter accounts too, so if you haven’t already please “Like” us and “Follow” along. (Pro tip: This is one of our favorite places to give out exclusive pre-sale codes and discounts.)

Stay tuned, and thanks for joining us here.