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Westside Digest

Beverly Hills : Beverly Theater Study OKd

May 12, 1988

The owner of the Beverly Theater in Beverly Hills has agreed to help pay for a study to determine if the theater can be rehabilitated and to offer a preservationist group or the city an option to purchase the property by June 24.

In return, the City Council has agreed to freeze existing building standards for two years for the 338 Rodeo Corp., the Columbia Savings & Loan Co. subsidiary that owns the theater. The company sought the development agreement so that it could still build a new structure under current building standards if the theater ultimately is demolished.

Without the development agreement, the company would have been free to tear down the theater as of May 24. If an option to buy the theater is not exercised by June 24, the company is free to demolish the theater.

On March 1, the city, 338 Rodeo and the Citizens Committee for the Preservation of Beverly Hills Landmarks entered into a agreement to resolve a lawsuit filed by the company to force the city to issue it a demolition permit.

The city had held up issuance of a demolition permit after the committee argued that an environmental impact report was required because the theater is potentially a historic building.

The ornate Beverly Theater, located at Wilshire Boulevard and Canon Drive, is 57 years old and was designed by B. Marcus Priteca, considered one of the most influential American theater architects.

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