Lompoc Theatre

A car passes the Lompoc Theatre on Monday. The Lompoc Theatre Project’s board of directors has made the first payment against the delinquent property taxes owed by the previous owner as part of an effort to restore the facility.

A nonprofit organization that is working to restore and reopen the old downtown Lompoc Theatre recently has made progress in its efforts.

The Lompoc Theatre Project’s board of directors last month made the first payment against the delinquent property taxes owed by the previous owner of the historic building. This means the theater has been removed from Santa Barbara County’s list of properties in default for unpaid taxes.

Prior to that, in May, the board hired a company to provide a cost estimate for work required to remove any hazardous materials, such as mold and asbestos.

The testing revealed some asbestos in the lobby, according to the Lompoc Theatre Project, but none in the main theater. In addition, minor mold damage was found in the roof.

“We have the test results back, as well as estimates to remove all of the hazardous materials,” said Mark Herrier, president of the board of directors. “We are reviewing those with the intent to proceed as soon as we can.”

The organization reports that it has prepared the required cleanup proposal necessary to remove the red-tag designation from the building and begin removing the hazardous materials.

Caltrans will need to review the repairs made to the marquee in order to remove the “sidewalk closed” signs. Once the red tag is removed, the board plans to authorize the contractor to patch the hole in the roof to halt any further damage from water and pest intrusion.

The Lompoc Theatre Project plans to hold a capital campaign to fund the replacement of the entire roof. The board’s first-year goal is to raise $1 million to fix the roof and make other repairs.

The ultimate fundraising goal, according to organizers, is about $6 million, which would allow the group to completely repair and restore the 89-year-old building.

Anyone wishing to donate to the campaign can do so by visiting www.lompoctheatre.org.

The Lompoc Theatre Project plans to reopen the theater as a venue for arts, entertainment, culture and education for the community and its visitors.

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This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.