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Lodi’s Sunset Theater to be sold to highest bidder on Thursday

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Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:16 am, Thu Jun 30, 2011.

The Sunset Theater is off to the auction block Thursday after more than a decade of withering away on the real estate market.

In a last-ditch effort to try to revive an area that once housed the only movie theater in town, mortgage brokers from Los Angeles-based Pacifica First National, Inc. will stand on the steps of the county courthouse in Stockton tomorrow to try to hand off the theater and the lot it sits on to the highest bidder — on a starting sum of $300,000.

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24 comments:

  • Brian Dockter posted at 6:39 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2850

    Steve,

    You could be right. I do remember seeing Star Wars at Festival Cinema on Pacific Ave. in Stockton. I thought it was at Sunset too.

    I remember the remodel they did in the late 80's or so at Sunset. It was beautiful and the sound system was great. I am curious of all the discoveries they'll have when they start taking the insides apart. Maybe some forgotten time capsules. Here's something for ya. I saw "The Trial of Billy Jack" there. Remember Billy Jack?
    Not to disparage. But he was kind of the red neck version of Chuck Norris.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 5:46 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    Jackson Scott wrote, "As for Mr. Hood, of course he is glad to see it go. He is not from Lodi, so he did not grow up attending movies at the Sunset. Therefore he has no emotional ties like the rest of us do to that building."

    I think those that grew up in Lodi, and still live here, have a special place in their heart for the Sunset, so we have the feeling that we'd enjoy seeing the place thrive again, somehow.

     
  • Kim Lee posted at 5:39 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Kim Lee Posts: 1798

    I said it before but:

    If I had the money I would buy it, get it up to code and turn it into a respectable dance club. Probably just serve wine (in terms of alcohol, if any). The target market would be young at heart people looking for a place to dance without dealing with drunks, bar fights and such. Probably would look into an under 21 dance night or two as well. The movie screen would be retractable and local live bands able to perform. If not the screen can be lowered for special occasions if the club was rented by a group for a birthday party or such. I'd even keep the name and signage out front as it is part of Lodi's historical image. (and, yes, I would be putting as much green tech into the reconstruction as possible).

    Just need the money. It's funny, most people I talk to want to win the lottery so they don't have to work. I want to win so I can start my own businesses.
    --------------

    Kevin: Yes! I agree. Great post. I'll go in on the purchase with you! I have some fond memories of going to the sunset as a kid. It would be so nice to have the Sunset alive again. It'll be sad to see it destroyed to build another liquor store, or the like.

     
  • roy bitz posted at 4:54 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    roy bitz Posts: 501

    I agree with comments made by Dave and Darrell regarding the value of this "eye sore. Hopefully it will be replaced soon but I think it will be allowed to continue to sit there and deteriorate or several more years.

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 4:05 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2570

    Brian, it is possible you saw Empire there (although I think that played at the Valley on Lower Sac) but Star Wars definitely did not play the Sunset.

    As for the building, I would be interested to see what is under all that plaster in the auditorium. It could all be cr@p but a lot of times, the old detail work just gets sealed under subsequent remodels.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:32 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Dave... if you consider environmental fees and potential lawsuits like the 30 acres on Harney, you may want to revise your bid... maybe they should be paying you $50,000 to take it off their hands... but that might be risky on your part. It probably will cost that just in permit fees to Lodi.

     
  • Dave Christy posted at 2:28 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Dave Christy Posts: 27

    By the time I get done paying demo. permit fees, hazardous material inspection fees, developer fees, bldng. permit fees, making sure we are in compliance with all ADA and other regulations, sewer hook up fees , water hook up fees, and countless unknown fees, my bid could go as high as $ 25.00

     
  • Matt Lewis posted at 2:17 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Matt Lewis Posts: 2

    I personally looked into this property 6 years ago and then again 2 years ago.... it needs about 10k in electrical work from the copper wiring in the place being stolen, as well as a leaking roof and one or two a/c units that need to be replaced. This place needs so much work its not even funny and the owner was never willing or interested in fixing any of it he just wanted a tenant to do it all and pay 5k a month in rent. This property isn't worth more than 100k in its current condition.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:34 pm on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    According to loopnet, $452,925 Assessed Value, $4,818.62 Taxes
    land area is .46

     
  • Josh Morgan posted at 9:35 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 538

    I'm wondering if this includes the property the former Alexander Bakery sits on? If so, it would be a much more attractive piece of property. In my opinion both buildings need to be demolished. "You can't put lipstick on a pig".

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:31 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Scott, your comments are very appropriate and spot on, IMO.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:15 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    The real bottom line for the Sunset Theatre property is the same nemesis that faces Lodi in most of the city limits: parking for a new business that would attract large attendees for an event.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:11 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    That would make a nice investment for the city of Lodi to purchase to use as a multi-faceted property to serve a youth gang intervention/prevention counciling and activity center in conjunction with either Point Break or Impact Lives, or a similar group that can releive the tensions that now exist with the gang and drug problems that will only get worse unless the city of Lodi steps up to the plate and faces the harsh reality of this issue. You, city of Lodi, dumped a hundred million of dollars into Hutchins Street Square, and possibly more, and continue to operate this "community center"- like entity and its many programs, many of which should be on the chopping block in this bad economy and budget cutting, and continue to run, at one time, $1,500,000 in the red, and that number seems to still be pretty close to the million dollar figure, doesn't it? This is a great opportunity to invest in the future of Lodi's youth and the eastside, where most Lodians truly believe the gang problem lies. The presentation by Lodi FD and the consultant who led this presentation, gave options for Lodi to share in additional revenue streams that would inject approximately 3 million dollars into Lodi's general fund annually. Why not pursue this opportunity and invest in Lodi's future? As an attendee of the Lodi Improvement Committee at that city council meeting, I was rather disappointed that the city manager and council basically opted to keep this additional source of revenue in their "rainy day stash". That decision only cements my no confidence vote concerning city manager Mr. Bartlam, and three members of the Lodi city council, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Katzakian, who appear to many Lodi residents to only consider and approve issues that only benefit their interests and pocketbooks and not the consensus of the residency of many Lodians, possibly the great majority.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:50 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2850

    The pigeons will have to roost and take a dump elsewhere.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:47 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2850

    JS wrote:

    Obviously Hood has not done any research to find that old theaters are being renovated across the USofA.

    -Chuckle,
    There are many theatres across the country like Sunset that aren't feasible to renovate. Obviously JS doesn't want to acknowledge Mr. Hood has done his research.

     
  • Jackson Scott posted at 8:28 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 386

    Star Wars was released on May 27, 1977. By this time the Sunset was not running new movies. The Valley was running new releases, but I too had to go to Stockton to see SW.

    As for Mr. Hood, of course he is glad to see it go. He is not from Lodi, so he did not grow up attending movies at the Sunset. Therefore he has no emotional ties like the rest of us do to that building. Obviously Hood has not done any research to find that old theaters are being renovated across the USofA.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:18 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    So sad that in ten years no one (with money) has come up with an innovative idea for the Sunset. I thought someone might copy the same idea that saved the old theater on the Miracle Mile in Stockton...coffee house and venues for local talent. Or show classic films...I guess DVD killed that possibility.

    Last time I was there was with my kids in 1994 for the opening of The Lion King. Seeing that on the Sunset's huge screen was a great experience for everyone in attendance - a packed house.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:16 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2048

    I said it before but:

    If I had the money I would buy it, get it up to code and turn it into a respectable dance club. Probably just serve wine (in terms of alcohol, if any). The target market would be young at heart people looking for a place to dance without dealing with drunks, bar fights and such. Probably would look into an under 21 dance night or two as well. The movie screen would be retractable and local live bands able to perform. If not the screen can be lowered for special occasions if the club was rented by a group for a birthday party or such. I'd even keep the name and signage out front as it is part of Lodi's historical image. (and, yes, I would be putting as much green tech into the reconstruction as possible).

    Just need the money. It's funny, most people I talk to want to win the lottery so they don't have to work. I want to win so I can start my own businesses.

     
  • Charles Nelson posted at 8:13 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Charles Nelson Posts: 259

    The Crest in Sacramento, like the Fox in Stockton, have beautiful architecture brought back to its original glory. The Sunset is a very utilitarian, ugly building, and it always has been. Plus, it's not part of a potentially bustling downtown. The parking is horrible too. I wouldn't give them a nickel for it in this economy.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:10 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2850

    I'm sure the people in the houses just west of it will be glad to see their version of living next to the Great Wall of China finally coming to an end.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:00 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2850

    Sunset is a relic of the past. Bring on the bulldozers. It's long overdue. The building sticks out like a sore thumb.

     
  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:57 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2850

    Steve,

    Maybe you went to Stockton to see the original Star Wars. But, I recall seeing it 5 times at Sunset. Now, I suggest you check YOUR brain.

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 6:30 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2570

    As for councilman Hansen, the original Star Wars didn't play at the Sunset, we had to drive to Stockton to see it at the Valley. Perhaps Hr Hansen's age is finally catching up with him?

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 6:28 am on Wed, Jun 29, 2011.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2570

    Its a shame Jeff Hood doesn't get out more and thus doesn't understand the important role theaters like the Sunset have played in revitalizing depressed areas in other cities. Having enjoyed many a show at the Crest in Sacramento, I can only wonder whether Mr Hood is speaking for the city or is he just shooting his mouth off to display his own ignorance.

     
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