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East Ventura County Focus

THOUSAND OAKS : Citizens Shave Costs of Arts Plaza Gala

August 26, 1994|STEPHANIE SIMON

The Civic Arts Plaza could wind up October's grand-opening festivities more than $70,000 in the black, as ticket sales should easily cover the costs of a red-carpet reception and champagne toasts, according to recent budget projections.

Citizens planning the gala have shaved expenses considerably since the initial budget of $317,500 was set earlier this year.

By saving money on the star performer's contract, the inaugural season brochure and an outdoor art display, they have chiseled their expenses to an estimated $260,782.

They have also bumped up revenue projections, anticipating sold-out crowds for shows featuring Bernadette Peters and the Conejo Symphony Orchestra.

The grand opening profits could be used to pad the theater's endowment and help cover daily operating costs in the performing arts center. Or the money could flow to the city treasury to refund part of the council's $75,000 gift to the grand opening committee.

But Virginia Davis, who heads the theater's board of governors, cautioned at a Wednesday night meeting that she's not yet ready to divvy up the profits.

"Let's wait until all the numbers come in and the bills are paid," she said. "If the (council members) ask for their money back, we'll tell them we're not ready to give it back yet."

In other action Wednesday, the board of governors (formerly known as the Civic Theaters Commission) granted a volunteer group permission to sell souvenirs bearing the Civic Arts Plaza's logo.

The nonprofit Friends of the Civic Arts Plaza has more than 500 members eager to help usher during performances and sell mementos at intermissions, President Helene Ross said. Items for sale will probably include T-shirts, mugs and tote bags.

During the grand opening weekend, bottles of champagne and sparkling apple cider bearing the logo of a silhouetted dancer will also be on sale.

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