Friday, March 5, 2010

Direct from Monkey Wrench Collective co-founder Bryan Jenning's Facebook page:
Our meeting with the landlord could not of gone better. The news is very good. He agreed to help us make the changes in the space to open for business. Monkey Wrench will be open in the next month. Now the real work begins. And meanwhile the shows will go on, as we get closer to a temporary move. Viva La Monkey Wrench!!!
Bryan was also good enough to talk to Joel Beers of the O.C. Weekly as well:
The Monkey Wrenchers were given two potentially promising pieces of news today: The landlord of the Harbor Boulevard space in Fullerton told them he will cover the approximately $20,000 in construction costs in order to get the space into compliance with the city's regulations; and it may have found a temporary space to house its two shows.

"It was a meeting of dreams, I suppose, since we really expected him to say 'It's been nice boys, but I'm just going to turn the space back into retail,'" said Bryan Jennings, a Monkey Wrench board member, of the Friday meeting with the building's landlord.  "But he really wants us to succeed and be in Fullerton, and he's prepared to front the money for the changes since he's already seen the $15,000 we've spent."

Because Monkey Wrench plans to perform in the space, it falls under a different part of the city's building code, one that requires far more fire protection than a normal retail space. Most of the fireproofing involves the ceiling, meaning the brick walls that enticed the company into the space in the first place will remain untouched.

Other changes involve finishing a disabled-accessible bathroom and recessing its Harbor Boulevard door three feet so that it doesn't impede foot traffic on the sidewalk when opened.

Jennings is hopeful that, with the landlord's financial generosity, and barring any further surprises from the city, the theater will be fully compliant within 30 days.

"We're going to town right away," he said. "A lot can happen in 30 days if you have the right people."

The long-term future of the Monkey Wrench in Fullerton seems set, and the short-term future of its two shows also looks good. Board member Dave Barton said he's in serious negotiations with an Orange County theater to book both shows for a joint three-week run.

"We haven't signed anything yet, so I don't want to say anything official until the paperwork is done," Barton said. "But I'm hopeful we'll be in a space and have both shows running by early April at the latest." 

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