Reprieve for La Reina Moves a Step Closer

Efforts to save the 46-year-old La Reina Theatre in Sherman Oaks from the wrecker's ball gained momentum Tuesday.

The Los Angeles City Council's Recreation, Library and Cultural Affairs Committee recommended that the 875-seat Art Deco movie theater on Ventura Boulevard at Cedros Avenue be declared a historic monument.

Councilman Joel Wachs, whose district includes Sherman Oaks, said he would bring the matter before the full council for final action today.

Developer Dennis Bass proposes to demolish the theater to make room for a shopping center. But the landmark designation would prohibit any alteration to the structure for one year without approval of the city's Cultural Heritage Board.

The moratorium is designed to give builders an opportunity to revise plans to save the structure or to allow preservationists time to raise funds to purchase the building. After the year, a builder can demolish the building.

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