Completed 2015

One of Grand Vision's goals was to upgrade the Warner Grand Theatre's technology.  The theatre had previously housed a small conference room projector which is used to show DVD films at the Theatre.  While this had worked with some success in the past, it didn't have the capabilities to perform well in a large cinema location such as the Warner Grand.  You may have noticed how dark some movies have been at the theatre which is due to the low lumens that the past projector had. The Grand Vision Foundation unveiled the new projector at SPIFFest 2015! In “camera-speak”, with an increase from 5,000 to 40,000 lumens, you will now enjoy a crisp, bright and contemporary viewing experience at the Warner Grand. Seeing this special film at the Warner Grand on the new projector feels like, perhaps we’ve come full circle.  Grand Vision’s stage rigging brought the San Pedro Ballet back to the Warner Grand Stage.  Now, with the many people who have supported Grand Vision for almost two decades, we were able to purchase and install this beautiful new projector- and who knows, maybe the next young person to break through barriers and change the world artistically might be a young filmmaker from San Pedro.

Completed 2010

Grand Vision worked diligently to correct the sagging, damaged section of the mezzanine ceiling.  With a grant from the Office of Supervisor Don Knabe and our match, the section was analyzed, repaired and repainted.  Repair team members included Bob Wolfenden, contractor and owner of the Auto Palace, who donated his time and service; Charles Kibby, principal of Preservation Arts; and Carolyn Lehne, restoration specialist and co-owner of KC Restoration.  The KC Restoration team first analyzed the ceiling paint.  Then, they identified key original colors, especially the original gold leaf surrounding each of the light fixture grilles.  Following the Secretary of the Interior's preservation standards which require the gentlest treatments possible, a water-based, fully removable paint was used.  Carolyn's team restored a decorated area of about 15' x 20'.  Within that area, they recreated about four square feet that was irreparable.  They replaced the gold leaf; and repaired areas of flaking and missing paint, often with a paint consolidation technique which requites reattaching paint flakes into their proper position, then blending all repairs so it is virtually impossible to see where their work ends and the unrestored area begins.  On the restored section of the ceiling, the abstract birds dance and the area around the grilles shines.  This restoration project is now a dazzling example of what could be.

Completed 2008

In Spring 2008, thanks to support from the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation and Shultz Steel, we were able to build the Warner  Grand’s  stage out ten feet, making the experience of watching a live  performance more personal and interactive. The original stage was built for vaudeville, so it was quite shallow at 23 feet, and almost prohibitive for  dance performances. The stage was redesigned to incorporate and build  above the existing pit. Steel supports were custom-made to fit inside the pit and hold the new forestage decking at the same level as the stage. The decking is removable in sections to allow musicians to perform from the pit.

Completed 2007

The Warner Grand’s theatre seats were in extreme disrepair, with torn upholstery, four or five different fabrics used, several tones of paint on the end standards, broken springs and more. Audience discomfort was high. The seats had last been upholstered in 1974, in red, green and gold vinyl. To accomplish the restoration, Grand Vision Foundation contracted with Irwin Seating Company and worked through its manufacturer’s representative, The Kleinman Group. The primary goals of the seat restoration project were to increase comfort, aesthetic appeal and accessibility. The seat restoration was made complicated by its many components, including widening some seats, adding an ADA platform, movable seats, and new aisle lights. Before the seat restoration, the Theatre’s seats ranged in size from 18-22 inches wide. All of the 18" seats were removed and approximately 90 24" seats were added. As a result of adding the 24" seats, it was necessary to remove a total of 54 seats, leaving a total of 1,506 seats at the Theatre. Eight seats with swing-out arms were added to accommodate persons with impaired access. In addition, the last rows in the house left section were removed and a handicapped platform was built to accommodate three wheelchairs and four companion seats. Removable rows on stretchers were added to facilitate film shoots and allow technical positions.

Details of the restoration are as follows:
  • The original upholstery pattern was recreated exclusively for this project.
  • Material selected for reupholstering was Tom Dworkin Custom Chenille ISC #CWCCUS (AA grade) and Neptune stain resistant coating.
  • Solid wood armrests refinished and number, letter and donor tags affixed.
  • Rosewood stain used.
  • The backs, seat pans other metal parts were sanded and powder-coated with #28 Black Duratuff.
  • Old springs were removed and brand new foam cushioning material installed.
  • Art deco end standards were stripped and repainted with copper base coat.
  • 8 swing-away end standards for handicapped transfers.
  • An ADA platform was built at the back row, stage right, orchestra level
  • 28 seats in two rows (all of Row M, center row B, stage right Row N) on moveable bases were installed. In order to install the bases, it was necessary to remove existing raised vents and replace with steel panels, flush with the floor.
  • Existing aisle lights were reconditioned and LED lights installed in aisle armrests. The LED lights were necessary to provide the foot candles required to meet current safety standards.
  • Brass 1" x 4" donor plaques

Completed 2007

In Summer 2007, thanks to Shultz Steel and the Grand Vision members, the lower lobby got some attention. The rest room dividers were cleaned up, rust removed and repainted, and floors were scrubbed clean. The  cracked steps and splintering floor were given new carpeting. There are  more improvements to be made in this area, but it was a much-needed start.