Sunday, November 23, 2008
( Photo: Sunset Center in 2007 by Bob Aronson, Creative Commons License.)
The Sunset Center has been a cultural web in Carmel for more than four decades, hosting world-renown entertainers ranging from celebrated violinists to dazzling circus acts. The former schoolhouse took on that role in 1964, when city voters decided to buy the centrally located property and convert it to an arts center. It cost $575,000 at the time, which took the city 25 years to pay off. The auditorium built with the school in 1931 became the theater. While it may have been fine for 7- and 8-year-olds at school assemblies, adult concert goers complained of acoustics when listening to the likes of Itzhak Perlman. Seating also became an issue, ventilation, and the conditions of the lobby and restrooms. More than 1,000 people contributed to a $21 million renovation fund and after two years of work, the 700-seat theater we treasure today opened in 2003 with modern comforts and remarkable acoustics.
(Video below: Keyboard Spectacular at the Carmel Bach Festival, Sunset Center)