By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
A fire struck The Gem Theater on Main Street, Garden Grove in May.
Fire, smoke and water damaged the theater, closing it down.
Now, months later, artistic director Lorton hopes to come home as soon as April.
“I got a phone call from the city talking about putting the roof and support beams in,” said Lorton.
The reopening of the theater will involve a lot of maintenance, paint, new chairs, new carpets, new sound and lighting systems.
It will also mean a new line up for musicals.
After a ribbon cutting and birthday theater dinner, Lorton plans to start the stage off with “Gypsy,” the play about stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.
“We’re really looking forward to doing some classic theater work,” said Lorton, “And looking forward to coming home. . . we’ve been waiting to get cleared for take off for a while now.
At the time of the fire, smoke and water damaged the theater and around $500,000 worth of work and theater equipment.
“I never got an official call as to how much the total damage cost to the building was though,” said Lorton.
Garden Grove Fire Department Acting Battalion Chief T.J. McGovern, who was on duty the night of the fire, said that the cause of the fire, according to the arson investigator, came back as undetermined and unintentional.
The fire stemmed from the upstairs costume shop where the investigators found the most fire damage.