Sacramento Business Journal

New B Street Theatre venue gets money from state budget.

June 28, 2017

B Street Theatre’s new $30 million arts complex The Sofia, still under construction, got a boost from the state budget.

In a one-time expenditure this year, the state granted B Street $1.9 million to fund items that had been value-engineered out of the project in order to start construction of the complex at 27th Street and Capitol Avenue.

Sofia Tsakopoulos with her grandchildren at the event Sunday naming the B Street… more

“Every bit of money was put to the construction of the building, and a lot of things had to be cut out,” said Marika Rose, spokeswoman with B Street.

The money came as a result of the efforts of Sacramento Assemblymember Kevin McCarty and state Sen. Richard Pan from Sacramento. Pan sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown requesting the money to complete the children’s theater, Rose said.

The $1.9 million will allow B Street to install theater audio and visual systems, lighting controls and fixtures, draperies, projectors and screens for both a 250-seat thrust-style theater and a 365-seat proscenium theater.

The money will also go to installing safety railing for the smaller theater, lighting for the rehearsal rooms and various pieces of equipment including a scissor lift, trap lift and furnishings for the lobby and the offices in the building.

“This is going to allow the theater to install proper lighting and equipment. It isn’t over-the-top extras. This is what you need to operate a theater,” Rose said.

Even with this latest new money to the project, B Street is continuing to raise funds for the venue, Rose said.

The new venue earlier this month was christened The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts to honor Sofia Tsakopoulos. Longtime local developers, the Tsakopoulos family contributed to the construction of the 48,000-square-foot complex two years ago when the theater company needed to close a critical gap in financing.

Unlike the B Street’s current home, which is a converted distribution warehouse, the new theater is being purposely built as a performing arts venue. That means it will feature areas below the stage for drop stages, lifts and traps. It also is being built with 30-foot ceilings to allow for lighting and effects outside of the audience’s field of vision. In the current theater, the ceilings are 10 feet high, and the lighting is all exposed.

The Sofia is on schedule to make its debut in February, Rose said.