A Grand New Vision for Escondido
The Grand Project is the culmination of an exciting new vision is to restore vibrancy, beauty and community life to the treasured, historic corner of Grand and Juniper in the cultural heart of Escondido. New Vintage Church has a plan to restore the historic Ritz Theater and redevelop the adjacent corner building into a stunning new multi-use performing arts complex.
The cultural heart of Escondido has always been Grand Avenue. For much of the city’s early history, an icon of Grand Avenue was the Ritz Theater. Originally built in 1938, the historic theater which was once a vibrant place of community life in the early-mid 20th century, went through a period of decline, including becoming an X-rated movie house in the 1970’s and after a handful of…Read More Now
The Grand Project is About Developing Partners
From the very beginning of this endeavor, building partnerships within the arts community and local businesses has been a key factor in this project taking flight. From initial vision to concept and design, NVC has been diligent to get feedback and input from local civic groups, theater companies and nearby business owners.
NVC has worked closely with a world-class team of architects, city planning officials, and construction experts to be intentional in honoring the historical significance of the Ritz Theater, utilizing the art-deco elements that are reminiscent of that theater’s “Golden Era” and creating an exterior structure consistent with other significant Escondido buildings such as City Hall.
NVC Lead Pastor Tim Spivey describes this endeavor as a unique opportunity to impact the city of Escondido positively in a new and creative way. “We are investing ourselves and our resources directly into blessing our community by restoring a critical historical and cultural property that has remained in decay for decades, and then not keeping it to ourselves, but opening up this multi-use arts complex for our community to enjoy along with us. While we will be using the Ritz theater as our primary space to worship, the entire facility will also be occupied by community partners and arts businesses that will have the opportunity to leverage the central location on Grand Avenue in the cultural heart of our city.”
The interior design will create modern spaces with multiple uses: the same space used for student ministry on Sundays can also serve as a dance studio during the week; children’s classroom space can be used to teach after-school music and art lessons; the Ritz theater, which will be the church’s primary worship space, will be used as rehearsal and performing space for local theater groups, film festivals, or to host touring bands.
With construction commencing early this Spring, residents of Escondido can anticipate “The Grand Opening” by Christmas of 2019.
San Diego Union Tribune
Church gets OK to renovate old Ritz Theater along Grand Avenue in Escondido
"An ambitious plan by a local church to renovate the long-abandoned Ritz movie theater on Grand Avenue in downtown was unanimously and enthusiastically approved Tuesday by the Escondido City Council."
San Diego Union Tribune
Local church plans to renovate old Ritz Theater on Escondido's Grand Avenue
"Ambitious plans by a local church to renovate the long-abandoned Ritz Theater on Grand Avenue in downtown Escondido — plans that include the razing of an adjacent commercial building on Juniper Street and construction of a new two-story structure that will be incorporated into the theater’s design, are swiftly coming together."
San Diego County Church Gifting City By Renovating And Building Property
"The New Vintage Church in Escondido, Cali. is gifting its city with a renovated theater for both movies and stage productions. The move is one that the church hopes to begin next year so that it can host services and allow people to come watch old movies at discounted prices."