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Orange County Digest

Fullerton : Museum to Receive $800,000 Face Lift

June 11, 1986|Roxana Kopetman

The Fullerton Museum is about to receive an $800,000 face lift--a move that one official said will cause the city to become "the chic place in Orange County."

With an additional $200,000 to renovate what formerly was the Museum of North Orange County, officials expect to reopen the old library building housing the museum by January, 1988, said Ronald E. Hagan, the city's community services director.

Last week, the City Council approved various agreements with different agencies, including the North Orange County Community College District, which will give the city a 20-year lease on the property--with a 20-year option--for $1 per year. The $800,000--part of which is a loan from the city to the museum--is $200,000 more than city officials originally approved.

As part of the museum center renovation project, officials are continuing to work on plans to construct a special-effects theater. The 360-seat Imax theater--the first in the county--would be part of a proposed $12-million downtown renovation project creating the Fullerton Museum Plaza.

Canadian-based Imax Systems Corp. provides viewers with an all-around sense of light, sound and motion. If plans continue on schedule, the Imax theater will open by the summer of 1988, Hagan said.

The Imax theater is planned for the middle of the plaza, which would also feature specialty restaurants, shopping galleries and an amphitheater.

With an Imax theater, galleries and other projects in place, downtown Fullerton "would be the chic place in Orange County to go," Hagan said.

"Although the museum project has been designed to operate on its own, if the city proceeds with the Imax theater and Museum Plaza, staff and the (Fullerton Museum Center) association are confident that a major cultural destination attraction will result with both cultural and economic benefits," Hagan wrote in a report to the council.

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