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Nonprofit Board Named to Run the Alex as Arts Center


Despite objections by the mayor, the Glendale City Council on Tuesday authorized formation of a nonprofit corporation to operate the historic Alex Theatre.

The council, acting jointly as the Redevelopment Agency, also appointed six members of a theater task force to be directors of the corporation to operate the Alex as a cultural and performing arts center. Three additional directors are to be named within six months.

Mayor Ginger Bremberg called the action "presumptuous and quite arrogant" because Mann Theatres still owns the 66-year-old theater at 216 N. Brand Blvd. Redevelopment officials are negotiating to buy the theater from Mann, which closed the Alex on Sept. 26 and which operates a new eight-plex cinema two blocks away.

Bremberg also objected to proposed bylaws of the corporation, which, she said, would give directors too much control over tax money. Other council members said the document does not clearly spell out the city's authority over the board. The bylaws will be redrafted, said City Atty. Scott Howard.

The redevelopment agency last month allocated $6 million for renovation, to be handled by the new corporation. Bremberg urged that at least one city representative be named to the board. She suggested the city accept applicants and interview candidates for the remaining positions on the board.

Directors named to the board were key members of the city's 21-member Committee for Arts at the Alex, which was formed last January. It released its final recommendations last month, including the proposal that the theater be operated by a nonprofit corporation.

Appointed were Laurence R. Clarke, an attorney and task force chairman; Michael Sharp, a real estate developer and co-owner of the Pasadena Playhouse; James DeMonaco, director of facilities and services for Walt Disney Imagineering; Marco Brambilla, a Glendale architect; John Hedlund, owner of California Offset Printers, and Andrea Humberger, president of the Glendale Historical Society.

The initial directors are expected to serve staggered terms of two, three and four years. The draft bylaws would then permit directors to serve two consecutive four-year terms.

Councilman Larry Zarian said directors will be responsible for raising money to operate a performing arts center. "They are going to need to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars so as not to burden the city," he said.

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