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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena : Plans for Raymond Theatre

May 10, 1990

The city may join efforts to preserve and renovate the 69-year-old Raymond Theatre under an agreement to be devised between the city and theater owners Gene Buchanan and Mark Perkins.

City directors on Tuesday voted to allow city staff members to begin negotiations that would keep the 1,800-seat former vaudeville house on Raymond Avenue in Old Pasadena alive as a concert and performance hall.

Three concert and theater operators have indicated interest in buying the theater but said Buchanan and Perkins' asking price of $2.8 million has been too high.

The owners had planned to convert the Raymond to offices but put those plans on hold when the city hired R. F. McCann & Co. Theatre Architects in 1988 to determine the feasibility of preserving the Raymond. The McCann study concluded that a theater could be profitable but suggested city participation.

That participation could involve the city's giving Buchanan and Perkins development rights to a nearby bank parking lot in exchange for their accepting a lower price on the theater property, said Marsha Rood, city development operations administrator.

Although the city does not own the lot, it owns development "air rights" over it, Rood said.

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