Birch North Park Theatre
This Theatre represents the culmination of years of planning and dedication by the North Park community, the City of San Diego, developer Bud Fischer, and Lyric Opera San Diego. It has been been awarded an “Orchid” for its architectual achievement. As owner of this Theatre, Lyric Opera San Diego takes particular pride in introducing you to this historic and unique facility in San Diego. The vibrant, live Theatre venue truly reflects the diversity of the community in which it is located. Facility users include professional performing arts organizations, schools and various non-profit groups. The North Park Theatre was built in 1928 and is the only theatre of its size in San Diego County (730 seats) featuring a fly-loft for legitimate live theater productions, a full-size movable orchestra pit and a projection room for motion picture exhibition. It stopped showing movies in 1974 and sat idle for several years. The Theatre was purchased by a church and used for services and Sunday school meetings through the 1980s. In the late 1980s the City of San Diego purchased the Theatre from the church with the intention of restoring it to use as a performing space. Several plans from developers were rejected, mainly for lack of funding. In 2000 developer Bud Fischer approached Lyric Opera San Diego with the approval of the City of San Diego to explore a restoration project.
Fund-raising on the part of Lyric Opera began in 2001. Wherever possible, we have restored the original dcor and equipment, recreating the elegant atmosphere of movie palaces of a bygone age. To this we have added modern amenities to make your visit as comfortable as possible. According to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) we are within a one-half hour drive from almost any where in San Diego. Features of the Theater Natural Acoustic – enabling emerging performers to develop their natural speaking and singing voices in a non-amplified, acoustically pure environment. Combined with the technologically advanced features accompanying the renovation, the acoustics of the Birch North Park Theatre make this an appealing option for live recording. The Theatre has a state-of-the-art sound system for performances which require amplification. Best Size – a mid-sized Theatre, seating 700 in an auditorium without a balcony. Easy Freeway Access – Located on University Avenue and near downtown San Diego, the Theatre is just a short drive from Interstate Route 805 and Highway 163.
Adequate and Convenient Parking – the City of San Diego has completed construction of a 400-space parking structure directly across the street from the North Park. The parking fee during performances is just $5.00 Convenient Restaurants – Fine restaurants, such as West Coast Tavern, located in front of the theatre at 2895 University Avenue and Urban Solace, 3823 30th Street are available for customer convenience. A Starbucks is also situated just outside the theatre. An Entertainment Destination – renovation of the Theatre has transformed it from an unused, out-of-date venue to an entertainment destination with high-tech, state-of-the-art staging and lighting systems, projection equipment, and a multi-channel theater sound system. Connections to nearby fiber-optic lines provide high-speed access to the Internet and to global telecommunications systems, enabling simultaneous web-casting of performances or a hookup to the Convention Center for meetings. Economic Development Value to North Park Community – North Park Main Street, the economic redevelopment agency for the North Park Community, has identified the reopening of the Birch North Park Theatre as one of its highest priorities.
Along with the new parking structure, the new Birch North Park Theatre has become one of the North Park communitys strongest assets. With Lyric Operas performances, numerous other arts productions and film exhibitions, the Birch North Park Theatre is drawing a diverse audience on a steady basis to the North Park community. New shops and restaurants are thriving in this environment, and when added to the eclectic array of dining and shopping choices already in the community, the North Park area is quickly becoming an even more attractive area in which to live. Real estate values have risen accordingly. DISCOVER MORE ABOUT NORTH PARK North Park Main Street promotes development that supports arts, culture, and entertainment, while preserving the historical integrity of North Park. We work to create a pedestrian-friendly destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment that supports our local businesses.