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Historic Olvera Street Theatre Moves to House L.A. City Television Station

The Los Angeles City Council lat week approved moving the city’s television station studios from their current Union Bank Building space in Little Tokyo to the historic Merced Theatre in the El Pueblo Historical Monument.

CityView Channel 35, which broadcasts city meetings and other programming, will be housed in the nearly 150-year-old Merced Theatre once renovations are completed in 2016.

Merced Theatre, which was built in 1870, has not been used for years, said Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district contains the building.

“This is a win for the residents of Los Angeles, the historic Merced Theatre and El Pueblo Historical Monument, as well as Channel 35,” he said.

Renovation work will cost $19 million to $23 million in revenue from the Public Education and Government Channels fee and will include a new digital television studio, structural retrofitting and historical preservation. The move could result in the city saving $342,000 a year in lease payments.

El Pueblo General Manager Chris Espinosa said the move would encourage foot traffic on the south end of the monument.

“El Pueblo is excited to partner with the Information Technology Agency to revitalize the historic Merced Theatre,” he said.

The theater was designed by architect Ezra F. Kysor to accompany Pico House, which was itself commissioned by Pio Pico, California’s last governor under Mexican rule.