Today’s North Park plays host to an ever-increasing array of San Diego Art galleries and studios, performing arts groups and venues, dance studios, architects and local art projects. A wide range of art-based forums and festivities, many sponsored by North Park Main Street, draw large and enthusiastic crowds from all around the San Diego region. Symbolic of the community’s burgeoning art scene is its performing arts jewel – the Birch North Park Theater (now known as Observatory North Park) – restored to the shimmer of its glory days in the 1920s. Previously home to a movie theater in the early 1970s and a church in the 1980s, the decaying building was eventually bought by the City and converted in 2005 to an intimate, red velvet-seat, live theater and concert venue. The acclaimed historic renovation captured the prestigious San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchid Award. The theater’s grand resurrection served as a catalyst for an entire neighborhood’s transformation.
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