Big plans for Chula Vista’s Vogue Theater

Opened in 1945, dormant since 2006

The building permit to renovate the Vogue Theater has been issued by the City of Chula Vista, giving the green light to bringing the currently dormant historical building back to life.

Janice Kluth, the senior project coordinator for Chula Vista, this week confirmed that Amorphica Design Research Office received the permit to start construction on February 13.

The Vogue, a landmark in the old Third Avenue business district of Chula Vista, operated as a single-screen movie theater from 1945 until 2006. It was also the venue for official mayoral debates during some of those years.

"Our intention is to bring back its original core use, the good old movie theater," said Aaron Gutiérrez, architect at Amorphica, "with several added values which are in intent educational, cultural, and entertaining." Gutiérrez said part of the plan is to "revitalize the zone with more business potential provided by the pedestrian traffic."

The new theater will "showcase movies that are educational, multicultural, independent, and even mainstream commercial in nature." But "it's not going to be a fancy movie theater in the same way as the new models of movie theaters in shopping malls," Gutiérrez said.

The uses of the new Vogue, said Gutiérrez, could include "performance artists, choral ensembles, jazz and blues concerts, symphonies, contemporary musicians, live theater performances such as musicals, drama, comedy" as well as "art and cultural installations, architecture exhibitions, lectures and public speaking events, business and civic meetings, workshops and seminars, youth and family oriented programming."

To accommodate these uses, the new space will have seating that is not fixed and have an occupancy of close to 1000; it will start out as a one-story event space, though a mezzanine is in the eventual plans.

Gutiérrez mentioned that the new Vogue will also be cooperating with local schools and Southwestern College.

Amorphica describes itself as a "social/spatial Architecture and Urban Design provocation-laboratory based in California & Baja California."

"The owners are eager to get started," Gutiérrez said. "The hardest thing is the building permit."

A sprinkler permit still needs to be issued, and because the property is officially a historical landmark, a separate permit to work on the façade must be obtained. Meetings with the owners for further planning should start next month, Gutiérrez said.

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Oh the memories The Vogue Theatre brings back. Back in the day, Friday night football games, a dance at the gym and then La Bella's. Saturday nights it was The Vogue.........

Nice to see everything old is NOT lost.

Oh please, let it be true. I know, us old folks going down memory lane but, THX-1138 and Smoky & the Bandit on the same bill and just as the show got out and we're waiting for our ride, a large panel van slowly rolls up to the curb. The engine starts to revv up as the sliding door suddenly opens exposing five bare asses mooning us all. The van races away leaving pale, shocked and bemused faces scattered on the sidewalk. The Chula Vista Mooning team struck again! Seriously 'though, bring 'er back! She's been empty too long! Mmmmm yeah anniej, La Bella's. Yeah, La Bella's

I think the first movie I ever went to as a kid was at the Vogue in the early 1960's. I am trying to remember, was it an extra .10 cents to sit up in the balcony back then?

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