News


Public open house starts at 10 a.m. today at Pleasanton's new Firehouse Arts Center

Event includes dedication ceremony, artists' demonstrations, children's activities, performances

The city's stunning, new $10 million Firehouse Arts Center opens at 10 a.m. today with a full day of artist demonstrations, live music, theater performances, art activities for children and refreshments--all free to the public.

A dedication ceremony will start at 11 a.m., with festivities inside and on the patios of the center, which is located at 4444 Railroad Ave. at the end of Division Street, just a one-block walk from Main Street and downtown Pleasanton.

Most striking about the complex is the blend of modern architecture with the old historic fire station built in 1929 that was saved from destruction by artists and members of the Cultural Arts Council. They saw the site as ideal for meeting their needs. The CAC set up a foundation for soliciting contributions and has raised more than $2 million in cash and pledges to help pay the costs of the new performing arts center, which is otherwise funded by the city government and taxpayers.

The premier cultural center features a 227-seat flexible studio theater, 2,000 square feet of versatile gallery space, two large art classrooms, and a spacious grand lobby for receptions and events.

As a multiple-use facility, the Firehouse Arts Center will provide a broad range of arts programming opportunities. From musical and theater performances to lectures, films, comedy, youth performances, workshops and demonstrations, the facility is expected to serve as a vibrant center for the arts for all segments of Pleasanton.

Construction on the project began in the summer of 2008. At the time, budget estimates ran as high as $12 million to build and furnish the structure. Because of the recession that had hit the construction industry especially hard, when bids were advertised the cost had dropped to $8 million. Another $2 million was added for special features, including environmentally conscious features such as solar panels.

The master plan was designed by ELS Architecture and Urban Design of Berkeley, and the general contractor was W.A. Thomas Co. Inc. of Martinez.

Pleasanton residents Nancy and Gary Harrington donated several of the most dramatic features of the Firehouse Arts Center -- two large glass marquees designed by world-renowned architectural glass artist Martin Donlin, as well as a statue of Claude Monet that will be installed near the outdoor plaza.

The first major city-sponsored event will take place at 7 p.m. next Thursday with a special free performance by the Pleasanton Community Concert Band for the Sister City delegation from Tulancingo, Mexico.

Then a full season of entertainment kicks off next Friday night with performances by master jazz guitarist Earl Klugh. On Saturday, Sept. 25, celebrated composer musician Mose Allison will perform, with award-winning pianist Evelyne Brancart in a Chopin piano concert on that Sunday, Sept. 26.

Tickets for all performances are available for purchase online beginning at www.firehousearts.org. Starting this week, tickets could also be purchased in person at the Firehouse Arts Center box office, or by phone at (925) 931-4848. Box office hours are from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets, if available, can also be purchased two hours prior to each performance.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by olfthfl
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 17, 2010 at 9:05 am

That $125 ticket price should certainly keep us riff-raff out.


Like this comment
Posted by FAC Patron
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 9:42 am

That 125.00 ticket along with years of fundraising has allowed the PCAF (that would be Pleasanton Cultural Arts Foundation to you riff-raffs...) to raise nearly 2 million dollars in support of the Firehouse Arts Center. And just in case you missed it...the City of Pleasanton will have an all day open house with lots of great entertainment on Saturday. So thanks to the many donors of the Firehouse Arts Center. Your support and positive attitude towards the arts here in Pleasanton ensures a great art future for Pleasanton.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm

the riff raff should be kept waaaaaaay out...end of story!


Like this comment
Posted by Becky
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

What about parking???? Where do you park?


Like this comment
Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I have mixed feelings about this opening night gala. Being one of the early supporters of theater in Pleasanton and workers to create a theater audience with good theater here, I am not favorable to charging that amount of money for a ticket. I feel that makes it an event for the elite. Most theater performers would find it difficult to put out that kind of money. I am hoping that this new little theater complex will lead to theatrical productions other than Shakespeare & single musicians. I am hoping to see productions of written shows that work well for a small house setting. Shows for the young family's living in the valley such as "Cabaret", "Chicago", & many revues designed for small casts. We thank the Cultural Arts Community for opening up the Firehouse Center to the rest of us on Saturday.


Like this comment
Posted by Jamie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I'm excited that Creatures of Impulse, the teenage improv group led by Mark Duncanson, will be performing. They rock!


Like this comment
Posted by HHR
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Does anyone know of a link for the upcoming events, as well as buying tickets online for performances?

Thank you


Like this comment
Posted by HHR
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Never mind. Just found it.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Good grief...where do you plan to park Becky?


Like this comment
Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm


No Parking! Stay home and take a limo. Sheesh.. it's opening night!

unclehomerr..


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Becky is hanging on to her change...she show-up on free day! tee hee hee, eeh eeh eet...


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Sep 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I'll be there with my $125...NOT!


Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:01 pm

I would like to thank everyone who made this new center for the arts a reality.


Like this comment
Posted by arts supporter
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Just got home from the opening of the Fire House Arts Theater gala.
It was a wonderful event. Thank you to the arts community and the city partnership that made this a reality.


Like this comment
Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

Having attended the Saturday opening festivities for the Firehouse Arts Center, I must say how beautiful the entire place is. The theater will be good for smaller venues which is encouraging. Anything with massive sets that require flying will have to continue to use the Amador Theater, which has another set of problems. Very bad dressing room space and needs to be upgraded. I notice from the information that a small theater company will be performing in our new space, which is a good thing. I will certainly be there to see their opening production in January.


Like this comment
Posted by Nurse Shark
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Sep 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

The Firehouse Arts Center looks absolutely gorgeous, their web site is beautiful and informative, and they seem to have a great lineup of performances scheduled. How nice to have something like this here in Pleasanton!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Couples: Engaged on Valentine’s Day! Topics to Discuss
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 3,958 views

Great rankings for Pleasanton high schools
By pleasantonweekly.com | 8 comments | 686 views

Livermore veteran, 96, has reason to be proud
By Jeb Bing | 2 comments | 365 views