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Alex Theatre operators initiate public appeal for funding support

March 26, 2012|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
(Times Community…)

The operators of the Alex Theatre are replacing their event-based fundraising of years past with an online effort in hopes of generating $75,000 to cover costs.

Extra money earned by the campaign could also be used to help Glendale Arts, the nonprofit that runs the historic venue, buy the theater from the city — if state officials determine that it must be sold off as part of the wind-down of Glendale’s Redevelopment Agency.

“We can't go this route alone,” said Interim Chief Executive Elissa Glickman in an interview Monday. “We need the community to show us through their support that they believe in what we do and that they believe this is an important project for the city.”

The $75,000-goal is twice as much as Glendale Arts has raised at past fundraising events, such as a red-carpet Oscar screening, partially due to the low overhead of an online campaign.

The future of the Alex Theatre has been on shaky ground since Glendale lost its Redevelopment Agency Feb. 1. A state law redirects the incrementally higher property taxes Glendale used on projects such as the Americana at Brand, affordable housing units and an annual $415,000 subsidy to the Alex to state coffers to close a budget gap.

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The city attempted to save the theater from automatically being sold to raise money for the state by transferring it to the city’s asset books, but that move may be undone, officials have said.

If that happens, the theater could be up for sale. Glickman said last week that Glendale Arts would be interested in buying the Alex. But an appraisal of the property would be needed and the nonprofit would need donations.

A $3.9-million improvement project to the theater’s dressing rooms and loading dock has also been placed on hold because of the redevelopment debacle. City officials won’t have a clearer idea about the Alex’s future for several months.

The online campaign, dubbed “I Heart Glendale Arts,” kicks off April 2 and runs through April 30. During a soft launch in March to work out the kinks, the nonprofit raised $7,000, Glickman said.

Visit www.glendalearts.org/iheart to get information about Glendale Arts programs and fundraising. Visit www.razoo.com/team/Iheartga to create fundraising teams or donate to teams.

To volunteer on April 2 for a phone bank campaign at Massage Envy Regional Training Center, 329 1/2 N. Brand Blvd. from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., call Glendale Arts at (818) 243-2611.

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