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Appeal Is Last Hope For 'Dome' Theater

The city has 45 days to respond to the appeal submitted by the "Save the Pleasant Hill Dome" group on April 8, but demolition could still go ahead in the meantime.

The familiar sight of Pleasant Hill's grey "dome" could soon be replaced by a sign for "Dick's Sporting Goods," if an appeal to save the theater fails — or if developers decide to start bulldozing before the city can make a decision.

A group called "Save the Pleasant Hill Dome" submitted the appeal on April 8 and the city has 45 days to respond. But a demolition permit for the 46-year-old CinéArts theater has already been issued and can be acted upon as early as the end of this month.

"The proposed demolition of the theater is separate and not directly affected by this appeal," said Public Information Officer Martin Nelis in an email to Patch, adding that the city has "no information on a schedule for demolition by the property owner."

Both the Planning Commission and the city's Architectural Review Commission have approved the SyWest redevelopment plans for the Crossroads Shopping Center, despite pushback from local "dome" supporters. A Change.org petition has accumulated almost 2,500 signatures and public comments both in person and in writing have been made to the City of Pleasant Hill. 

"[The 'dome'] is an important part of our history," said Ron Borland in a comment to the Architectural Review Commission, as shown in the video above. "It's only five years less old than the town itself."

The full appeal is attached to this article.

For updates on the fate of the "dome" theater, join Pleasant Hill Patch on Facebook.

Jack Weir April 10, 2013 at 04:44 PM
The demise of the Dome dies not necessarily mean the end of art and alternative films in Pleasant Hill. Efforts are underway to find another venue, possibly in the Downtown area, right across the freeway. The outpouring of support for such films may help the development of such a business case. The interest in Pleasant Hill's history may also attract folks to our Pleasant Hill Historical Society, currently operating the Rodgers Ranch site and a variety of programs for the community.
Opinion8d April 10, 2013 at 09:39 PM
It's not about art and alternative films. It's about a landmark and historic building that is unique being replaced by generic and, let's face it, hideous, modern commercial-tecture.
Giorgio Sassine April 10, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Jack, you are missing the point. It is not "art and alternative films" that we are trying to necessarily save, it is the Dome itself. The Dome represents more than just art films, it represents an icon to the City, an icon of a time soon to be lost by Dick's and the like.
Giorgio Sassine April 10, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Agreed.
Giorgio Sassine April 10, 2013 at 11:49 PM
What I find so appalling about this appeals process is that SyWest and the City still have the right to demolish something that is subject to an appeal. What is the point of exercising our right to do this as residents of Pleasant Hill and citizens of art, history, and not Dick's, when the Dome may very well be destroyed? I am sorry, but this is just flat out wrong. If the appeal does go through or not, this appeal process needs to be changed so that future city politicians cannot pull the same kind of mockery to our City's history and to its current and future residents as it is right now!
Philip Liborio Gangi April 11, 2013 at 01:13 AM
We need to form a line and block the demolition.
Bob Wang April 11, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Giorgio... What is appalling is that you and a rag tag group of a dozen or so primarily non residemts of Pleasant Hill feel that you have any right to tell a private landowner how to conduct their business. The City and the landowners have worked hard for 13 long years to redevelop this dumpy area into a nice shopping center and you all act so surprised that the Dome is going away. The sense of entitlement displayed on the Save the Dome Facebook page is disgusting and by removing from FB any comment that cast the slightest doubt about your motives, you paint an unrealistic picture of the real public sentiment. Also, it's been interesting to look at the evolution of the comments out of your group. You started out complaining about the loss of the art films and didn't give a hoot about the dome. Obviously when you realized trying to falsely claim the dome is historic might save your precious movies, you changed your tune. You and your new found friend Martha should be ashamed of yourself for your bias and selfishness, you should both devote your energy to a worthy cause and realize this battle is lost. I believe the City should and will continue to do the right thing and let this antiquated eyesore of a building tumble to the ground. Their are a lot of people and families that live in this town who look forward to Dick's and the selection of sporting goods. That should leave room on the freeway for you're motley crew of fellow busy bodies to find something better to do.
Jenny Triana April 11, 2013 at 11:09 PM
I hope that there is an alternate venue found for the artsy films and hope everyone complaining about this project actually SUPPORTS that alternate venue. You think if the patronage had been so great this theater would be shutting down?? I also look forward to the redevelopment of the south end of this center which is an eyesore and commend the City for having the courage to do what is right for all of its residents, not just a vocal (and mainly out-of-town) minority.
Giorgio Sassine April 11, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Bob, so based on your statement: "What is appalling is that you and a rag tag group of a dozen or so primarily non residemts of Pleasant Hill feel that you have any right to tell a private landowner how to conduct their business" we should just allow businesses to do whatever they want and we should never get in their way. I find that, Bob, appalling. I am not acting out of self-interest - I am acting on what many believe is the wrong long-term view of this area; and I am not just speculating on this like your speculation that "there are a lot of people and families that live in this town who look forward to Dick's and the selection of sporting goods," but I am basing it off of the mass press we have received, the full presence at council meetings, and the 2,000 plus signatures from within Pleasant Hill and from around. If sporting goods stores is what you and your cohorts want, then fine, go to Dick's in Walnut Creek, go to Sports Authority at the mall, go to Sports Mart in Concord, go to Golfsmith in downtown Pleasant Hill, go to Play it Again Sports, or simply go online. What we can't find online is a movie theater with history, architectural beauty, and a place where families, couples, and friends can go to enjoy a good time. None of this can be achieved at Dick's.
Denise Wright April 20, 2013 at 07:19 PM
Sorry Jack! Don't agree....The Dome is part of our history and a unique place to see a movie....without feeling like you are part of the franchise crowd.

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