The return of El Rey

Over the weekend, I was driving past El Rey theater and noticed a large, tan bin filled with what appeared to be trashed seats. I felt a little regret at the cushy seats being tossed aside, but I’m glad to see the theater come back to life in some form. The first show is Friday, according to the Buzz editor’s column.
I wrote about the El Rey’s last night as a movie theater on my personal blog. At the time, I was pretty sure the former cinema would be reconfigured into office and residential space. The plans changed and now the lights will shine on El Rey for some limited performances.
I wonder what the final outcome is for El Rey. It’s been a struggle to save downtown performance spaces in many cities, including Chico. Overcoming long-term issues about an aging building or site is important.
A couple of issues I’ve heard about El Rey is that is has a musty smell and there were some water leaks (both I hear have been addressed). The seats were an issue of mine — several weren’t in good condition when I saw a film there in 2005.
I’ll be interested to see if people can successfully restore the space into a living, useful environment for the community.