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Repair Funds Sought for Art Deco Theater

One of the oldest buildings in Hermosa Beach has closed, and residents and city officials are scrambling to find a way to reopen the 73-year-old Bijou Cinemas.

The Art Deco theater, which opened in 1923 as a vaudeville playhouse, closed Sunday because the three-story building that houses the theater needs a seismic overhaul. The state had set a Jan. 1 deadline for the work, but none of the $1 million in repairs has been made.

Owner Joe Naughton says he is exploring ways to save the theater. The City Council adopted an ordinance earlier this month that establishes a 45-day moratorium to prevent demolition of the theater.

In addition, the council has prepared an ordinance that would give the theater historical status and has formed a committee to look into saving it.

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