The city council wants action on the Coast Playhouse.

The structure at 8325 Santa Monica Blvd., built in 1925 along the original Route 66, is not in good condition – the toilets don’t work, the mechanical equipment is outdated, and there are also problems with public security.

At their Monday meeting, Council voted unanimously to raze the building, which has little historic value, and replace it with a new structure. They also selected a fast-track option proposed by staff, who will now convene a steering committee to select the design for the new building. The Council capped the budget at $6.5 million.

“I think the public has been waiting for this space for some time,” said board member John Erickson. “I want to give this back to the community as soon as possible.”

The new performance hall will provide the community with the creative arts venue it has been missing for so long, according to the staff report:

“The Playhouse will provide the city with much-needed performance space (as recommended in the 2007 Cultural Facilities Needs Assessment) and provide opportunities for theatre, concerts, art exhibitions and repetitions. The Playhouse will serve as a center for arts and cultural events, to support arts organizations and non-profit artists with an accessible venue in the city center. Staff are considering various operational strategies for overseeing the Playhouse, including the city as the sole operator, the city leasing the property to a resident company (theater, performing arts, or nonprofit arts organization) for performances and a combination of both scenarios. The Arts and Cultural Affairs Committee will participate in the development of the Playhouse’s programming.