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Griffith's Old Zoo Could Get a Permanent Performance Space

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Next week, the Department of Recreation and Parks commissioners will vote on whether or not to move forward on a plan to build a a permanent 45-by-45-foot stage at the grassy urban exploration zone known as the Old Zoo at Griffith Park, reports the Los Feliz Ledger. The project would also include a number of related improvements to the area—parking lot resurfacing, upgrades to the existing restrooms, a handicap-accessible bridge and path, and a fancy switchboard for the performance stage, according to the project's environmental review docs. The project would be paid for with Prop K funds for park improvements. The idea comes from the director of Symphony in the Glen and the managing director of the Independent Shakespeare Company, both of whom are hoping to use the stage for their programming, but this isn't the first time someone's tried to bring a performance space into the knoll: In 2011, Councilmember Tom LaBonge was hoping to build a similarly-sized amphitheater there.

If approved, the stage would be completed by June 2015, and the theater company hopes to draw 48,000 attendees total for its upcoming two-month summer season. The president of a relatively new non-profit called Friends of Griffith Park has voiced concerns that the huge audiences that are expected to attend the performances and the lights and sounds from the stage will adversely affect wildlife in the park. The real concern should be that with increased exposure to classical music and Shakespeare, the wildlife will become snobby and insufferable.
· Performance Stage for Arts at the Old Zoo To Be Decided March 5th [LFL]