021021 Solvang Festival Theater rendering

The rendering shows the enhancements to the theater’s back wall and lighting columns, which are two of the main components of the renovation project.

Solvang Festival Theater has moved one step closer to breaking ground on its $4.7 million renovation plan to reinforce and modernize the nearly 50-year-old downtown amphitheater.

The Solvang Planning Commission unanimously voted Feb. 1 to approve the theater's development plan, which will address aging infrastructure, improve accessibility and elevate the quality of the theater's technical capabilities and audience amenities, according to Theaterfest Executive Director Scott Coe.

The renovation project, slated to begin construction in September with completion expected in July 2022, will go to the Solvang Planning Department for review in March. The Design Review Committee also will review the project before land use and building permits are issued, Coe said. 

Renovation plans include a complete replacement of the theater's rear wall, increasing its height by 8 feet and adding cantilevered panels to help deflect wind, capture more warmth and buffer external noise. Acoustically engineered paneling also will be added to the new wall to enhance sound.

Additionally, the project includes new ADA-compliant stairwell access to the theater and box office for staff and patrons, as well as the replacement of the theater's 47-year-old utility poles, which will increase safety for staff and patrons while supporting an enhanced lighting system.

The multiphase capital campaign, “IMAGINE! Building the Future,” has reached 61% of its $4.7 fundraising million goal, Coe said.

For more information, visit www.solvangfestivaltheater.org

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record. 

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