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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

El Rey Alliance speaks out after month of silence

Since August, the El Rey Theater Alliance has been working diligently to save Chico’s historic El Rey Theatre, which is currently on the market. They have been active on Facebook but chose to stay silent for the month of November. Finally, the alliance announced last Wednesday that they were drafting a business plan.

“We have finished drafting our business plan as well as a five-year financial projection and are currently working with an investor to secure the purchase of the theater,” the El Rey Theater Alliance said.

Key members Lisa West, Scott Brown and Steven Breedlove devoted last month to creating an ideal business plan. The business plan does not mean that the El Rey Theater Alliance is purchasing the theater. It is more of a “what if”; a plan to show investors that they mean business.

“We want to execute the business plan should the opportunity arise,” Breedlove said. “The plan outlines revenues, our competition and how we intend to leverage uniqueness to turn a profit.”

The El Rey Theater Alliance has since become a nonprofit organization and has joined the League of Historical American Theaters and the Sundance Arthouse Convergence. They hope to utilize these organizations for resources and support.

“I feel really optimistic about this. Just look at Red Bluff, for example,” Breedlove said. “They bought their town’s theater for $600,000 and paid it back in three years. They were able to do this because they had the tenacity and community support.”

Although members remain hopeful, it is hard so say what will happen next because not much information is known. Breedlove and Brown claim to feel powerless because they are merely citizens, not millionaires.

Since updating the public, the El Rey Theater Alliance has met with the property owner, private investors and people who have a financial stake in the business. According to Breedlove, the owner wants to sell his property for 1.4 million. The alliance will have to assess the property value and then they can make an offer via a private investor. It is still unknown whether the property owner will work with the alliance.

“Nothing is concrete,” Brown said. “We are making assumptions about a lot of things because we have been put in the dark.”

Despite feeling powerless, the El Rey Theater Alliance believes that their plan and efforts will go a long way.

“We are serious about running a theater,” Breedlove said. “We have endless ideas and many connections. We have our will, but we also don’t want to keep the community’s hopes up.”

In December the alliance aspires to put the finishing touches on the business plan, assess El Rey’s property value and speak with the owner.

Katia Berg can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter

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