The owner of the iconic-but-ramshackle Miramar Theater in North Beach said the building is on track for renovation as a theater and event center.
"I think we've come up with a plan that everybody likes," said owner Marc Spizzirri. "I hate to tell you [details] and have you publish them and start the conversation prematurely. It seems like with everything in town, there are a few naysayers that are pretty vocal.
"I can tell you I fully intend to restore the theater as a theater and save its original use," Spizzirri added.
Furthermore, installing retractable seating would allow the Miramar to host local plays, school plays, local bands, corporate events and other community event, Spizzirri said.
Spizzirri said he'd like to start construction in six months, but admitted that may be an unrealistic schedule.
"I'd like to have the entitlements done in the next six months so we can start renovation and construction," he said. "But that's the schedule from the guy who's paying the bills every month."
Right now, the city is using $28,000 in state grant and city matching money to hire consultants. The architectural experts will tell the city what significant features of the building should be saved and what parts aren't important or should be actively revamped to preserve the building's historical significance.
"It'll kind of be a roadmap of what they can do and what they're not allowed to do in the building," said San Clemente Senior Planner Jim Pechous.
One part of the theater Spizzirri said he's not interested in restoring is the bowling alley added onto the building long after it was constructed.
"Other than it's a familiar building in town, I don't see a lot of historical value," Spizzirri said. "The architecture isn't significant, the architect isn't significant."
He said he hoped the community would embrace the plan when it's made public during the approval process, though he recognizes there may be some criticism, as with any new project in town.
"There's going to be some people who just don't want anything to change," Spizzirri said. "And I get that. I'm like that myself to an extent."
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