San Lorenzo Express News

Local Nonprofit Signs Agreement to Purchase Lorenzo Theater

JUNE 10, 2007

The Lorenzo Theater Foundation has signed an agreement to purchase the Lorenzo Theater after two years of negotiation with the owner. The foundation now has 14 months to raise the agreed price of $300,000.

The Foundation was formed nine years ago for the purpose of preserving the theater for public use. The cost of restoring the building for use is estimated at $8 million or more.

The theater was purchased by Dr. Dharam Salwan in 2000 for a reported $400,000. He originally planned to use the building for a veterinary clinic. However, community opposition was fierce, and Salwan withdrew his proposal.

Salwan and the Foundation agreed in principle on a purchase contract in December 2005 but did not sign a contract until May 30 of this year. It has taken the last year and a half to work out the details of an agreement. Significant issues were liability insurance and responsibility for maintenance of the theater until title is transferred to the Foundation.

The Foundation plans to ask 300 people to give $1,000 each. Foundation spokespersons have said that fundraising without a purchase agreement has been nearly impossible. At the agreement signing, Salwan pledged a $5,000 donation.

The Lorenzo Theater is officially a California State Historic Resource.

Contributions to the purchase fund, in any amount, can be mailed to the Lorenzo Theater Foundation, POB 193, San Lorenzo, California 94580. Checks should be made payable to the Foundation.