Can an $8M renovation make Madrid Theater the heart of a bustling Canoga Park Arts District? – Daily News

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With hopes that the Canoga Park Arts District along Sherman Way will become a major Valley destination, Los Angeles City Council member Bob Blumenfield, a top Gensler architect, and several officials joined community members and the San Fernando Valley Master Choral on Saturday, Aug. 27, to celebrate a two-year project to modernize the historic Madrid Theatre.

Long before the stretch of shops and restaurants was renamed the Canoga Park Arts District, the blocks on Sherman Way between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Canoga Park Avenue were a thriving antique row filled with eclectic shops and a sprinkling of cafes like the still-bustling Henri’s.

But the devastating 1994 Reseda/Northridge Earthquake severely damaged many of the street’s longstanding brick buildings. The  weekend destination, which once drew shoppers and antique snoopers from throughout Greater Los Angeles, struggled to recover.

Today it’s getting back on its feet with a mix of old and newer shops including Retro Relics Etcetera, It’s Fabulous! vintage store, Aquarium City, Old Friends Antiques & Restoration, and Antique Store Canoga Park — and longtime businesses including Knife Trader Cutlery and Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe. A block south, a busy longtime Goodwill Store has survived and thrived.

Restoring the Madrid is a key focus of Blumenfield’s, who said in a statement that he is “bringing millions (of dollars) to create opportunities for all types of local artists to help the community become a greater destination for business and culture.”

In 1928, the Madrid was a silent movie house — one of the first buildings erected in Canoga Park. By 1998, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs had purchased the property. It hired Gensler, the global architectural firm, to oversee renovations that will include a new lobby space, upgraded backstage facilities and upgraded sound gear.

 

Blumenfield’s office says the council member secured nearly $8 million to renovate the 430-seat theatre, with a projected grand reopening during the 2024-2025 season.

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