San Gabriel Mission Playhouse Will Not Be Torn Down or Sold

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a building with arches and a bell tower

Mission Playhouse in San Gabriel (Photo – Laurie Avocado)

False information has been posted online that the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse will be closing or be sold. This is not true.  As an historic site It will never close permanently, be sold or demolished.

By Margaret Prietto

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its State mandated closure, the San Gabriel City Council has previously discussed the status of the Mission Playhouse. The Council will convene in a Special Meeting to discuss present and future options for Mission Playhouse.  (Click to view Tuesday’s Special Meeting agenda).

The unidentified person or persons used the name of John Steven McGroaty to post the false information on Facebook and Instagram. However, John Steven McGroaty, poet and author of the famed Mission Play, a history of the California missions, died in 1944.

a snapshot of a fake account on social media with a male name and facebook calling "her"instead of "him"

Sample of the fake account on Facebook

The unknown person(s) urged residents to send in comments to City Council members to stop the closure of the Mission Playhouse. As a result, Council members received over 300 public comments on an issue that does not exist. It would take three City Council meetings, detracting from other, relevant business to get through them all, so all the comments have been published for the public to read.

This is the official statement from the City of San Gabriel:

The Mission Playhouse will not be sold or demolished. Instead, the City Council will be addressing the Mission Playhouse’s revenue stream which has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The following options will be presented to the City Council by City staff:

  1. The full closure of the Mission Playhouse including layoffs, which would begin in the near future.
  2. The full closure of the Mission Playhouse from mid-September to June 30, 2021 with minimal maintenance without layoffs.
  3. The continued operation of the Mission Playhouse in a limited capacity through December to support events permitted by the County of Los Angeles.

More information about these options can be found here.

> The City Council plans to discuss these options on Tuesday, August 25 at 6:30 pm in a meeting that will be streamed live on the City’s YouTube channel.

Margaret Prietto is a retired teacher and school administrator. Cheryl Cabot contributed to this story.

Margaret Prietto
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