The neglect of the Alexandria Theatre on Geary Boulevard may be coming to an end. During the decade that it has been closed, the theatre has been the subject of graffiti, squatters, theft and general neglect. In May of last year, the city cited the owners ,Alexandria Enterprises LLC, with violations of the maintenance of the building. After repainting the building and fixing some of the other violations Alexandria Enterprises LLC sold the building and its development plans to a new company, Alexandria Development Group LLC in August.
The new company hasn’t done anything major with the building but they did request a change in the original development plan, which was to maintain the main theatre, house a restaurant and retail stores in the remaining part of the theatre, and construct a “mixed use dwelling unit” with five below market-rate units, 37 units total. Although the changes requested are not major changes, they do have more of an emphasis on the housing part of the development, increasing the dwelling units to 41 and decreasing the below market housing units to four. This revised plan was approved by the planning department in September and is now awaiting the approval of the Department of Building and Inspection.
The theatre has been a staple to the Richmond community for decades and the stagnation of any kind of development has hindered not just the theatre but the community.
Although the new ownership carries hope for a better future for the theatre, so did the last ownership, only the start of construction will set the tone for the Alexandria’s uncertain future.