Water damage at Doré Theatre causes financial woes


Tony Hernandez II

The front sign entrance of the Dore Theatre located on the north east side of the CSUB campus photographed on November 21, 2019.

Sam Underwood, Editor-in-Chief

Between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, a water line in the CSU Bakersfield Doré Theatre sprung a leak above the control booth causing structural damage, as well as damage to the control equipment located in the booth.  A source of funding to repair and replace equipment[AC1] , as well as make renovations, has become a topic of discussion.

The incident forced CSUB to reschedule one community event.

“Due to the damage to the building and control booth, we had to reschedule a concert by the Bakersfield Youth Symphony, a group with whom we have enjoyed a longstanding relationship.  Several divisions of the university responded promptly, and the theatre staff did a heroic job to put backup equipment in place,” Joel Haney, associate music professor at CSUB, said.[AC2]

According to Haney, the Bakersfield Youth Symphony event was the only event that was disrupted by the damage.  All events since have proceeded on schedule using backup equipment.

A meeting was held on Nov. 21 with Mandy Rees, the music department chair, Haney, Paula Bray and Justin Berhow with university facilities, and Daniel Tapia, the ASI director of arts and humanities to discuss the remaining repairs needed.

According to Bray, the structural repairs are complete.

“Altogether, [the structural repairs totaled] less than $1,200.  The major cost will be the repair/replacement of the theatre equipment,” Bray said.

The control room equipment, which includes the main projector and the control board for sound and lighting, will be the most expensive setback for the theatre.

“We expect this to run into multiple thousands of dollars,” Haney said.  The music and theatre departments are currently working with the administration to resolve funding issues associated with replacing the equipment, according to Haney.

According to Tapia, if funding for repairs comes from departments within the School of Arts and Humanities, it is the students who will suffer.  Tapia is advocating for the administration to cover the cost of not only the repairs, but needed renovations to the theatre as well.

“The impact the loss of funds will have, will impact our ability to send A&H students to professional development opportunities. Departments may have to find their own way to raise funds for their clubs and organizations if the administration does not assist us in this issue,” Tapia said.

According to Tapia, the Doré Theatre is pivotal to the community as a performance venue and a gathering place for all of Kern County.  Overall costs for the repairs and replacement of equipment are still being estimated, and Tapia feels that the theatre is outdated and in need of a “full restoration.”

“The [water] lines were getting old and gave in. The [administration] have not seen how the Doré Theatre lacks in space, equipment, and how it is not up to par with other theaters in the CSU [system] in regards to quality,” Tapia said.

Tapia is working towards having a meeting with CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny, Vice President of Student Affairs Thomas Wallace, and their staff in order to advocate for the administration to finance a full restoration of the Doré Theatre.