I was let into the theater today by a member of the EC Public Works department to take photographs of the seats in the theater which the ECPAC Foundation is looking to upgrade.
The seats will need to be steamcleaned, the armrests upgraded, and the back of the seats cleaned and given a touch of Armourall to freshen up the plastic backing.
I can see that the 1100-some seats could be cleaned up by a dedicated group of community volunteers on a Saturday afternoon.
What also struck me today was how comfortable the seats are in the theater and the legroom, all in the era of really uncomfortable airline seats with no legroom.
I haven’t been in the theater just short of a decade. The last time I was there I was a trumpet player in the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra and my mom sat in the middle of the theater. I still remember her taking a small keychain LED light and flashing it so I could see where she was sitting. I gave her a short and quick wave which she acknowledged with a teethy smile.
As a child my parents always took me to all kinds of concerts and dramatic performances when I lived in Portland, OR. No matter where we went, I always sensed an incredible excitement in whatever venue we went to. I’ve always felt that same excitement when I’ve been a musician or as an actor on stage. What struck me today was a sense of sadness and gloom when I walked into the theater. But as I accomplished my task of taking the pictures and as I walked through the quiet foyer, that gloom and sadness somehow changed into an incredible feeling of accomplishment from the time I read in the Union-Tribune about El Cajon’s plans to demolish the theater, to the very distinct possibility that once gain the sounds of the performing arts will come alive as the curtain is raised perhaps by this fall.
Wishful thinking? Maybe. But just sometimes, wishing upon a star….a dream can come true.