The Glendale City Council officially approved designating the Alex Theatre as a civic building on Tuesday night, adding a protective layer to the historic building, should it fall under the ownership of the state and be sold off.
Now the theater can only be used for certain purposes, such as a performance arts venue. Under its previous zoning, it could be used as a church or bowling alley. City officials don't want that, but they had no power to prevent it without changing the theater's zoning.
The move is a proactive step. The theater was owned by the city's Redevelopment Agency, which paid for renovations and operation. But this year, the agency was dissolved by a state law that directs property taxes once used to support development in the city to Sacramento to fill a state budget gap.
Glendale transferred the theater to its books to protect it from being sold by the state, but officials in Sacramento may unwind that move in an attempt to squeeze more money out of redevelopment.