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In 1972, the Alhambra Theatre, a 45 year old Moorish Revival movie theater at Alhambra and K Street, designed by architect Leonard Starks and considered one of the city's most treasured landmarks, closed its doors when the building was sold to the Safeway supermarket chain. Over the next year, Sacramentans waged a "Save the Alhambra" campaign to prevent its demolition, uniting local musicians, students, politicians and architects. Despite fundraisers, benefit shows, a public vote and even a "sit-in", the Alhambra was demolished in 1973. The Alhambra became a symbol of Sacramento's potential, envisioned as a community theater or rock music venue but lost to the wrecking ball. The fight led to Sacramento's first survey of its historic buildings, spurred the city's first preservation ordinance, and inspired community organizations that continue to the present day.
This installment of the quarterly “Sacramento Preservation Roundtable” features “Images of the Alhambra,” a collection of photographs taken by CSUS Hornet reporter Doug Taggart, of the rock & roll and vaudeville benefit shows held at the theater in the fall of 1972, and the building’s demolition in the spring of 1973. These shows were part of the “Save the Alhambra” campaign that unsuccessfully tried to prevent the demolition of the Sacramento landmark. Dennis Newhall, former KZAP music director and curator of Sacramento’s Rock & Radio Museum, will provide commentary about some of the Sacramento rock bands who played this show. SOCA President William Burg will also comment on the story of the “Save the Alhambra” campaign and the theater’s history.
The Preservation Roundtable will also feature:
• Presentation by City of Sacramento senior preservation planner Roberta Deering, with updates about citywide historic preservation and adaptive reuse projects.
• Update on Old Sacramento’s newly revised general plan by California Department of Parks & Recreation staff.
• Special presentation by Jennifer Gates of California Preservation Foundation about the imminent closure of many California historic post offices, including downtown Sacramento’s post office and federal building--a building by the same architect who designed the Alhambra, and discussed in this month's Sactown Magazine by editor Rob Turner.
SACRAMENTO PRESERVATION ROUNDTABLE—Images of the Alhambra
Saturday, June 9, 2012, 9:00 AM-Noon
The Urban Hive, 1931 H Street, Sacramento
Cost: $5.00 requested donation—continental breakfast provided
The Sacramento Preservation Roundtable is sponsored by the Sacramento Old City Association (SOCA) with the assistance of The Urban Hive. For more information, please contact SOCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 202-4815.