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Design Review Approves Novato Theater Preliminary Design Plans

The historic downtown Novato Theater has been closed for 20 years. With continued community support, it will be rebuilt as a community cultural center.

At the Wednesday, March 5th Novato Design Review Committee hearing, members voted unanimously to approve the preliminary designs for renovating the Downtown Novato Theater.  The designs were created and submitted by local architect Dan Macdonald of Daniel Macdonald AIA Architects.  

The committee praised Macdonald for his plans, his commitment to keep the historic character and enhance it further with additional design elements.  Macdonald and team were overwhelmed by the support of the City of Novato and particularly of the Design Review Commission's unanimous approval of the Novato Theater design.  

He went on to say "We are proud to be architects for this fantastic local project that will enhance and enliven our downtown.  The late Art Deco façade and interiors will be a Novato landmark for years to come.  Congratulations to all the contributors on this milestone event and to this great cause!"  

Next steps include; start the construction documents, apply for building permits and then commence with construction.  Brian Proteau of Arntz Builders noted “as we move further into the construction phase, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Novato Theater team and all the community partners working to get the theater open!”      

The historic downtown Novato Theater has been closed for 20 years.  With continued community support, it will be rebuilt as a community cultural center where live music, performing arts such as live theater and dance recitals, simulcast showing of live opera, Broadway shows, sports events, as well as a daily film program will have a year round venue.  It will be open 7 days a week, 365 days a year and will be available to rent for meetings, private events and educational outreach programming.  

All proceeds from fundraising events will benefit the Novato Theater, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public benefit corporation that is leading the rebuilding and operation of the historic downtown Novato Theater.  All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. To donate or for more information, visit us online at www.novatotheater.net or contact us at info@novatotheater.net. 


Norma Dawson March 10, 2014 at 02:27 PM
Since you folks seem to be in the know, how did the Umpqua Bank get approved? Every time I drive by there I shake my head at the lack of parking. What retail business is going to lease that space with zero parking? How did the planning dept. let that happen?
Tina McMillan March 10, 2014 at 02:40 PM
Circle Bank built the structure. Umpqua bought them. The city says we have plenty of parking in Old Town.
Hopkin March 10, 2014 at 02:43 PM
Norma, it might be a good spot for Novato Rickshaw headquarters.
Hopkin March 10, 2014 at 02:46 PM
Rickshaw rides could start at Mission Lodge Memorial Park, and go back and forth on Grant between there and the field across the street from Baskin-Robbins.
Norma Dawson March 10, 2014 at 03:24 PM
There is plenty of parking at 3PM and 9AM:) Let's take bets on how long that space stays empty as well as the Pini building. And the city wants to put more retail on the Redwood Corridor? Good luck! Rickshaw rides? Funny!! I do hope the theater gets a chance someday, thank you June and all the other volunteers working on the cause.

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