Lamplighter Community Theatre Plans Triumphant Return to La Mesa

Once a La Mesa institution, the community theater group virtually fell off the map after its home, the Ben Polak Fine Arts Center, was demolished in 2006.

Update: 5:22 a.m. Thursday

Gerry Reeves with Lamplighters responded to a Patch inquiry via email. He said that the specific address of the theatre company will be 5911 Severin Drive, on the northeast corner of Amaya and Severin. It will be located in the La Mesa Village Center.

Lamplighters Community Theatre made the following announcement on Dec. 18, 2013:

Lamplighters Community, a La Mesa institution for 75 years, has signed a lease for space at La Mesa Village Station to resume operations, possibly as early as March. The theater on city-owned property was closed in 2006 to make way for the construction of La Mesa’s new police station.

Mike Habib and Alice Niewiadomski  of Coldwell Banker in La Mesa represented Lamplighters in the transaction, while Thomas Dechant of Pacific Coast Commercial represented Honn Properties, owner of the business center at Severin and Amaya Drive.

“We are delighted to have found this quality space that is housed primarily in a business center with little or no impact on our surrounding neighbors. Most are closed during our hours of operation, which means minimum intrusion with our fellow occupants,” said Mark Loveless, Lamplighters president. “There is ample parking to accommodate existing tenants along with what traffic we would generate,” he added.

Loveless said plans for the 90-seat theater have been drawn by Architect Paul Bedington and are ready to be submitted to the city for review, and hopefully approval. “If the city approves the plans, we could be ready to open our first show in April,” Loveless said.

During its 75 years of operation in La Mesa, Lamplighters averaged five to six major shows a year, and numerous special events for seniors and students.

Ticket prices were modest, with the intent of bringing high-quality, reasonably priced theater to our patrons, Loveless said.

“At our peak, we had 880 season ticket holders, and our goal is to contact our former subscribers and, hopefully, renew as many as possible.” He said ticket prices will be $15 for students, seniors and active military.

General admission will be $18.

“We have already drafted a tentative season that offers a combination of hit musicals and popular dramatic plays and comedies, Loveless said. “Our plans incorporate a variety of shows that should appeal to our general audience. Our last major production was Neil Simon’s '45 Seconds from Broadway,' a show that sold out nearly every performance. We are looking forward to providing shows that include plays suitable for the family.

“In addition to our real estate professionals and architect, we would like to give special thanks to Paul Ericson, our former president and vice president, Judy Hughes, who serves as treasurer and former house manager, both of whom worked tirelessly to bring this project to the point it is now and for preparing documents for city review,” said Loveless.

See also: (2010)

Things I Learned December 19, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Deena While December 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Good News! Can't wait for the first show! Congratulations!
V. Clark December 20, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Happy to hear this news!


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