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Dear Patrons and Friends of the Playhouse ...

The San Juan Capistrano City Council, in compliance with the State's disolution of the Redevelopment Agency, is selling the Camino Real Playhouse property. Here is an update on the process and suggestions on how you can help us to save live theatre in San Juan Capistrano's future.

About the Future of Live Theatre in San Juan Capistrano

The San Juan Capistrano City Council has selected a 'short list' of bidders to purchase the property and will bring those bids to public review before making a final decison.  Sadly, our bid was not selected.  These bids were selected:

​   Frontier Real Estate Investment, LLC (Dan Almquist)
​   Rivendell Land Company, Inc.  (Bill Griffith)
   Friess Property Investments (Dan Friess, Bill Griffith's partner)  
   O'Shea Properties (Terrence O'Shea, Bill Griffith's tenant)

​Dan Almquist's original bid included a Performing Arts Center, extensive parking, businesses and public spaces designed to meet the stated criteria of "Maximum Public Benefit".  As these four proposals are reviewed in public, please support the one that will achieve Maximum Public Benefit as outlined in this criteria:

1)   Adhere to the Historic Town Center Master Plan
These properties are the gateway into town, and as such should be developed in a way that is consistent with the Historic Town Center Master Plan, and be complementary to Mission San Juan.  This site will become a source of civic pride for the City, enhancing the lives of our residents and visitors for generations to come.  The project should serve as a landmark highlighting the entry to Downtown San Juan Capistrano.
2)   Increase Parking
The selected bid should provide significant, at least 250, additional parking spaces, not just for the use of the project, but to help ease the overall parking shortage in the town and enable the “Park Once” concept.  Knowing that it will be fast and easy to find parking will make it more pleasurable to enjoy the many amenities of San Juan Capistrano.
3)   Continue and expand the commitment to the Performing Arts
The selected bid should include a long-term commitment for a Performing Arts facility to enable broader public benefit. This would extend the heritage of the Camino Real Playhouse which has been operating on this site for 26 years, providing entertainment and education for thousands of local citizens and their children, as well as drawing visitors from across Southern California.
4)   Attract more people to benefit downtown restaurants and businesses
The selected bid should include a combination of Performing Arts, a diverse set of retail, restaurant and commercial facilities and public parking that strengthens our downtown community and will draw residents and visitors to contribute to the city’s goal of a “lively 18-hour mixed environment”.
5)   Demonstrate Financial Viability
The selected bid should evidence strong financial viability during construction and initial occupancy, and should endure for years to come.  Diversity of uses and flexible spaces will help ensure this.  The selected bid should have a strong proposal for either a for-profit or a non-profit 501(c)3 operating structure for the Performing Arts component to assure its success. Projects should be rated on long term financial public benefit to the City of San Juan Capistrano and surrounding businesses.
Please take a moment to click the Maximum PUBLIC Benefit Link below to share your personal goals about this development project with our City Council. Live theatre in the beautiful city of San Juan Capistrano is counting on you and the Council.