Welcome to The Grand – The San Diego Union-Tribune – California News Times

After the first fit and launch by the pandemic, Grand, the latest art venue and community gathering space in downtown Escondido, is ready for a busy summer.

The $ 10 million project was carried out by the New Vintage Church in Escondido, which included the renovation of a 1930s cinema called Ritz, the demolition of a building in the corner next to the theater, and the construction of a new two-story building. Was included. Roof deck at that location.

The project is located on the corner of Grand Avenue and South Juniper Street. The Grand Opening Ceremony was held in October last year, but during the winter the pandemic raged and the venue survived the closure.

The church offers Sunday services in a refurbished theater with approximately 600 seats. We also rent out space for movies, concerts, comedy and theater performances, and private events. The Coffee House is located on the ground floor of a corner building with space for an office, conference, outdoor bar and roof deck that doubles as an outdoor movie venue. During the pandemic, church services were connected to a large-screen TV on the roof deck to maintain physical distance.

Tim Spivey, senior pastor and founder of the New Vintage Church, said activity at the venue began to be active about a month ago.

“We’re looking forward to a really good summer. They seem to be interested and people are ready to go out and start over. We’re really excited,” Spivey said. ..

Prior to taking over The Grand, the church was in a building owned at number 13.Th And Escondido’s Juniper Street. A non-denominational congregation of about 800 members has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.Th Anniversary of the founding.

Members wanted to stay in Escondido when the congregation turned to future growth, Spivey said. The sale of the old church building provided ground seed money. The renovation of the theater, which has a history of more than 80 years, and the replacement of the dilapidated building next door also provided an opportunity to revitalize part of downtown Escondido.

“The idea was that the church would take the next step and the city would take the next step,” Spivey said.

The church sought to create a multipurpose arts complex, recognizing that some activities and performances differed from typical churches. “This is a radical hospitality experiment,” Spivey said.

It wasn’t always easy to get a project from concept to completion, Spivey said. The church was able to buy real estate at an affordable price, obtain unanimous city council approval and bank loans, and overcome construction challenges.

“There were many small miracles along the way,” he said.

When he and his team first saw the interior of the theater, it hadn’t been used for 15 years. Seats were torn down and piled up, damaged by an old fire, and a car crashed into the lobby. A pigeon was roosting in the building.

“Still, I was able to see the charm of the place,” Spivey said.

The contractor incorporated original structural materials, such as the theater’s heyday seat row end caps, and used original structural wood for the new doors, Spivey said.

Alex McCraclan, Chairman of the Board of Escondido Downtown Business Association, said the effort paid off for “great” development. Key components are used for everything from business events to weddings. It is an event venue.

Grand also reserves comedy shows and concerts, and shows movies, just as Ritz did when McClaclan was a boy and lived within walking distance of the theater.

Such an event is the key to “going to the city,” he said.

McClaclan is optimistic about next summer and beyond, as vaccines are readily available, COVID case rates are declining, and people want to return to normal activities such as going out at night. Said there is.

Along with Grand, a major multi-purpose development called Palomar Heights on the grounds of the former Palomar Hospital will bring new residents into downtown Escondido, with supporters hoping to revitalize the city’s downtown corridor. ..

The reopening of the popular Friday night vintage car show and entertainment event Cruisin’Grand, scheduled for June 18, which had been suspended since last year due to a pandemic, has returned to normal and downtown. Will help the merchant, MacLachlan said ..

“Cruisin’Grand is a kick-off for the reopening of Grand (Avenue). I can’t wait. It’s just a few weeks away,” said MacLachlan.

The ground plays an important role in its resumption. Spivey said he enjoyed preaching on stage on Sundays, listening to the laughter of the girls’ dance troupe in practice, stopping by for a coffee at the cafe next door, and experiencing the new church home.

“What a wonderful thing God has done here,” he said.

Welcome to The Grand – The San Diego Union-Tribune Source link Welcome to The Grand – The San Diego Union-Tribune