The Broad Stage (Daniel Archuleta
The Broad Stage (Daniel Archuleta

MID-CITY — The Broad Stage wants to liven up its performances with beer and wine.

Santa Monica College, which operates the 538-seat theater, is applying for a special permit that would allow the sale of alcohol during performances.

City officials are recommending that the Planning Commission approve the request at its Wednesday night meeting.

Since its opening in 2008, the theater has been serving beer and wine by getting special daily licenses or using caterers with alcohol licenses.

There have never been any alcohol-related complaints at The Broad, according to city officials, and the theater operators say it’s cumbersome to constantly apply for daily permits.

Currently, The Broad serves alcohol at most of its four or five weekly performances. If the permit is approved, theater operators say that the number of performances at which alcohol is served would be no different than it is now.

Theatergoers would be allowed to drink in the ground-floor lobby, the upper-level lobby, and the outdoor patio terrace out in front of the theater.

Food and drink is prohibited in the auditorium so patrons won’t be able to bring their suds in for the performance.

Beer and wine would be served from the concession stand on the ground floor and, on warmer days, from a portable bar on the outdoor patio.

The theater property takes up a city block and is surrounded on three sides by homes. Apartments are located across the street from the patio, 130 feet away.

Booze could be served two hours before a performance and up to an hour after, all between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 a.m.

After-performance receptions are generally limited to 50 to 100 people, theater operators said.

The Santa Monica Police Department has no objection to the proposal, city officials said.

Mid-City Neighbors did not vote on the issue and took no formal position, said the neighborhood group’s spokesperson Stacy Dalgleish.

“Board members had generally favorable comments regarding The Broad Stage performance season since opening in 2008, and recognized that alcohol was served before performances, during intermission and at some special events,” she said in a letter to City Hall.

Dennis Erickson, who lives nearby, said he doesn’t want a “bar” near his block.

“After the play or musical is over, what will these people do?” he wrote in an e-mail to the Daily Press. “They will drive home. We do not need any more bad (or) impaired drivers on our roads … or near my grandson.”

The Planning Commission has been busy reviewing the Draft Zoning Ordinance, which will dictate land-uses throughout the city, but they’ll take a break this Wednesday to review alcohol permit applications from The Broad and two new restaurants.

One incoming restaurant, Aestus, wants to serve beer, wine, and spirits in their space on the ground floor of a Downtown apartment. The restaurant owners have collected signatures from more than a dozen residents in the apartment who favor the alcohol license.

An Ocean Park Boulevard restaurant that remains unnamed wants a liquor license for its 50-seat space. Previously occupied by Marty’s Liquor, the restaurant will be located in a neighborhood commercial district.

Northeast Neighbors will challenge an Architectural Review Board decision to approve the façade design, colors, materials, and sign plans for an incoming Citibank.

The neighborhood group is concerned that it will negatively impact the pedestrian experience on Wilshire. They say that the bank will diminish the unique character of the property.

“Further, the appellant states that the project has environmental impacts by way of increased traffic and congestion to the neighborhood,” city officials said of the Northeast Neighbors’ appeal. “The appellant also highlights potential non-compliance with parking requirements, landscaping standards, and setbacks associated with a substantial remodel.”

City officials are recommending that the Planning Commission deny the appeal.

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