City planning staff approved an overhaul of the dilapidated Alexandria Theater in the Richmond district Thursday, but not before asking the building’s owner to provide better security to protect the decades-old structure.
Planning Commissioner Kathrin Moore asked a project spokesman about recent vandalism during which the building was broken into. The spokesman said vandals did spray-paint parts of the interior of the building and that they stole three small plaques from a wall.
Out of concern about the historic aspects of the inside of the building, planning commissioners added an item to the approval that asks the building owner to add more security to the site until construction is completed.
The approved plans for the site also call for a remodel of the building that changes the three-screen theater to a 221-seat, single-screen venue — as it was originally constructed in the early 1920s. The building also would house retail on the ground floor and a 7,000-square-foot restaurant on the second level.
Adjacent to the theater, where there is now a parking lot, would be a mixed-use development containing 37 units of housing, retail on the ground floor and two levels of subterranean parking.
The remodel and new building could bring new life to the corner of Geary Boulevard and 18th Avenue. The site has fallen into disrepair since the theater shuttered in 2004.
Planning commissioners also asked that any changes to the design or material for the exterior of the building be approved by the commission.