The Santa Ana Sentinel

A Victory for the Historic Yost Theater, and the Community?

Posted in Progress Report by Omar Ian Ávalos on August 24, 2010

(I don’t normally toot my own horn but here is a Wikipedia article on the Yost Theater that I started in 2007.)

The City of Santa Ana’s Planning Commission adopted three resolutions on August 23, 2010; Conditional Use Permits:

No. 2010-04 to allow for After-Hours Operation at the Historic Yost Theater and Ritz Hotel. The Santa Ana Municipal Code requires a conditional use permit for any eating establishment with hours of operation between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am.

No. 2010-05 for approval of a Type 47 ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) license for the Yost & Ritz Inc. management and ownership group to be operated on-sale.

No. 2010-06 to allow for a Banquet Facility.

It is abundantly clear that the Downtown needs a revitalized Yost Theater. It is a structure with much history and it would be a shame not to give the property the TLC that it deserves. Luckily, the Chase Family found in Dennis Lluy someone that could book and promote events for it.

Mr. Lluy operated the popular Koo’s Cafe on Main Street in Santa Ana during the 90s, and also promoted the large-scale event “Sound Downtown,” in either 2007, or 2008. Mr. Lluy went on the record in addressing the Planning Commission on August 23 to say that, or to present himself as, someone who is open and friendly to the cultural and musical tastes of the immediate Latino community in Santa Ana. Other speakers argued that the cultural diversity and eclecticism of the Downtown is a strength and a draw to the area. They ultimately implied that this very diversity and eclecticism should be a part of the revitalization of the Yost.

I echo those voices and specifically call for that diversity to be put on the Yost stage. I expect Mr. Lluy and those that spoke in support to live up to their word and to be open to that diversity. That means that when a member of the Latino community proposes an event or project that is reflective of that community, it needs to be respected and given the careful and just consideration that a proposal merits, and to be put on stage. That does not mean that every proposal should be booked, and only after critical consideration.

Today’s event strikes a special chord in me because I made a career of the Arts, more specifically through music, and as a performer. I’ve been an assistant music instructor since 2001 at Santa Ana College, and a principal musician for the Department of Dance at UCI also since 2001. I too have had my sights set on the Yost, and continue to do so.

I am happy for the Yost. I am happy for Historic Downtown Santa Ana. History was made today.


2 Responses

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  1. Connie said, on August 24, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I just now stumbled upon the Santa Ana Sentinel and I will certainly bookmark it. It is refreshing to see a local independent news source that seems to stick with the facts and labels its opinions as just that.

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