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Historic Lompoc Theatre undergoing multimillion-dollar renovation project in hopes of reopening

Lompoc theatre
Posted at 6:56 PM, Aug 01, 2023

In its glory days, the historic Lompoc Theatre off South H Street was the hub of entertainment for the city.

Locals would line up in anticipation of the latest movie or concert coming through town. But since 1991, the venue has been awaiting its grand reopening.

Mark Herrier and Barbara Satterfield say they were both children the first time they stepped foot in the Lompoc Theatre.

“I like Mark, grew up coming to this theater, the Saturday matinees,” Satterfield said.

“When I was 10 years old, I saw on this very screen that is still hanging up there, a movie called 'Music Man,' and after seeing that I wanted to be an actor,” Herrier added.

Both now serve in leadership roles on the board for the Lompoc Theatre Project, the fourth nonprofit that has attempted to renovate and reopen the venue.

But in spite of the multimillion-dollar hurdle of bringing the theatre back to its former glory, executive director, Mark Herrier, says “reopening day” is on the horizon.

“All the mold has been removed, the pigeons have been vacated, asbestos is gone," he explained. "We spent $350,000 on phase one, which made the place so you can go into it now and it is not toxic,”

Herrier says since the Lompoc Theatre Project was founded back in 2012, they have raised around $600,000, with an additional $150,000 that was recently awarded by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

RELATED: Chumash leaders pledge up to $150,000 towards restoration of Lompoc Theatre

He says crews will soon begin work on phase two, which should continue over the next few years.

“At the end of that time, we will be having performers on the end of this stage, the audience sitting on the stage. All of this will be totally renovated, the front of the building will be totally renovated, and people will be able to see live performances on this stage in gosh, 60 years,” Herrier said optimistically.

Barbara Satterfield, who is board president of the Lompoc Theatre Project, says once open, the theatre will once again offer a space for people to see blockbuster movies, concerts and cultural events, as well as new opportunities for local youth. 

“We have several local dance studios, musical groups that do performances in churches or wherever they find a place. This would be the place that they would come,” Satterfield told KSBY. “This would be their home.”

Herrier believes the Lompoc Theatre’s renaissance will be transformative for the city.

“People will be able to work a hard day and have a place to bring their family to be entertained, to be elevated, to be inspired as I was. We are a blue-collared town that deserves this,” he said.

The grand reopening of the Lompoc Theatre has been set for 2027, when the venue celebrates its 100th birthday and hits its $10 million fundraising goal.

Mark Herrier says as renovations continue, the theater may also begin hosting smaller performances and events ahead of its tentative reopening date in 2027.

The total cost of phase two is estimated at around $3 million.