What Should Replace the Cinedome?

Updated with reader suggestions: Should the domed 8-screen cinema be torn down or repurposed? Share your visions for downtown Napa's latest vacancy.

Napa's Cinedome 8 showed its last movie Nov. 8; the new Century multiplex opens to the public tonight.

What should happen to the domed 8-screen cinema building and its property? Tell us in the comments. 

The privately-owned property is slated for development of some kind under the City of Napa's recently-approved Downtown Specific Plan. But, said city council member Peter Mott Wednesday, the owners have not yet decided what its future might be.

So let's give them some suggestions! Almost 40 people have commented on our Facebook page — here are some of their ideas:

  • Roller rink
  • Ice rink
  • Skateboard park
  • Science center with a planetarium and a viticultural focus
  • Arcade
  • Drive-in movie theater
  • Sports bar with kids' game room and "killer food"
  • Year-round farmers market
  • Recreation center for kids with bounce houses and batting cages

Now it's your turn: Share your visions for this vacancy in our comments below, and click "Keep me posted" for automatic updates when we publish more news about this property.

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Unfiltered Steve Simoneau November 09, 2012 at 05:55 PM
The area is in a primary flood zone, regardless of any "Flood Control Project" it is still going to be under water sometimes. It will rain hard for days, water will rush down from upvalley, the tide will come up from the bay, and the water will have to go someplace. An elevated parking structure with appealing architecture would be great at that location.
KB November 09, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Lorie November 09, 2012 at 06:23 PM
...An elevated structure (night club, arcade, skating rink, etc.) with appealing architecture would be great at that location....
Dan Monez November 09, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Several of us in the arts have advocated the reuse of the Cinedome as a nonprofit arts center. My vision is for one of the screens remain for art films, shorts, etc.. The larger screen space turned into a live performance space. The smaller screen spaces turned into rehearsal space, dance studio, music/band room, and perhaps a small "black box" space for standup, improv, poetry slams, etc.. The large lobby and hallway area could be art/photo gallery. Juliana Inman carried this idea for awhile but the City of Napa has never been in favor of it. Nonprofits don't generate sales tax and the city wants retail in that location. Our hope was that the Redevelopment Agency could buy the building and then the entire space leased to one entity under a master lease arrangement and then sub-leased or rented to the user arts group. With the death of Redevelopment that can't happen now even if there was interest by the city. Other cities have done it. Fairfield, leases its theater space to a non profit who then sub-leases or rents to arts presenters. Suisun did the same with its theater space in partnership with Solano College's theater program. Rohnert Park and actually runs the Spreckels Center with city employees but rents performance spaces to other theater companies such as Napa's Luck Penny. Unfortunately, the City of Napa has never shown much interest in supporting or promoting the nonprofit performing arts groups, aside from the love affair with the Opera House.
Kristina November 09, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Parking structure. I work in this area and it is tough to find parking...especially during the Summer months or on days when there is a Chef's market or a show at the Opera House. Yes, not having the theater parking will make a difference but if we plan on growth and development in downtown Napa, we should think about parking now as opposed to later.
Leo Olyn November 09, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Tear it down and build the new skate-board park there with parking for downtown as well.
Nicholas Claymore Watter November 09, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I agree with Dan Monez. Napa is supposed to be the bastion of culture, so in the Brechtian fashion lets have art for all.
Barry Martin November 09, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Steve, you may not have noticed that the Flood Project has already made a big difference in areas where work has been completed. With work on Napa Creek nearly done, the impact on this area is changed again, and when the bypass is completed the situation you describe will no longer be the norm. I know some people have the idea that "nothing will work" but the facts show the opposite to be true.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Are Napa drivers and visitors ready to pay for parking in a privately-owned garage?
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau November 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Barry Martin, of course the 'Flood Control Project' has made a difference, by simply moving the flood from one area to a different area. That's why it's called 'control' and not 'prevention'. The flood has been moved from downtown Napa out to Carneros. The people who live on Milton Rd. along the river are furious, and I was told they weren't even allowed to have a say in the matter. And since the work has been completed we haven't really had a serious flood like 1985, so there hasn't been any test to see what will really happen. I suggest we have this conversation after a serious flood situation, after a week of heavy continious rain upvalley followed by an unusually high tide. Then we can discuss the merits or failures of the Flood Control Project. But either way, anything built on that property should be elevated simply because it's adjacent to a tidal river.
Barry Martin November 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Steve, the flood on 12/31/05 was a major event, in many ways comparable to 1986, and the inundation pattern was very different in the areas where work had been completed. That is the quantifiable proof that the project is working as designed. The data also shows that the tide has little if any impact on water levels during a flood. This concept fits into the "urban legend" category and has been debunked repeatedly.
Michael Haley November 09, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I would like to see some housing built there, housing is what we need the most in downtown right now. Perhaps a mixed use building with businesses on the ground floor and two or three floors of apartments above it? That way people who work downtown can live there and walk to work and also get more customers for the businesses down there already.
Jon Richardson November 09, 2012 at 09:43 PM
It is my understanding that after the Napa River Dry Bypass goes in most of the existing parking will be gone. On the plus side, we will gain a few parking spots when the bus transfer station on Pearl St. moves to it's new location.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 09:59 PM
And that's soon, I think! Meanwhile, here are some more suggestions from our Facebook friends: "I think they should make it a Flood Museum with a fountain pumping river water thru it. only fitting. either that or a parking garage." "I'd like to see a place for a good sized dance floor so people could dance! There's really no dance place in Napa other than the Sr. Ctr."
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau November 09, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Barry Martin, I never said that the project wasn't working as designed, I said it was designed to flood down river instead of Napa. It has worked wonderfully to that extent. I don't know your education in marine hydrogeology but you imply that you have experience in this field by refering to your study of "data". I have always been curious about the energy behind an up-river incoming tide, where it goes, the dispersal/distribution, and what happens when it meets the opposition of kinetic energy behind a flooding river. Does the energy magically disappear or is the energy redirected laterally?
Barry Martin November 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Steve, apologies if I suggested I was the one doing the study of the hydrology. The data I'm referring to is from the Flood District/Flood Project, for whom I have done Public Information work since 2001. As I understand it, the floodwaters move downstream with such great force as to "blow out" the tidal effect, pushing it back downstream. I can't say if there is a lateral effect as well. It does seem, at least anecdotally, that the presence of a high tide will inhibit floodwaters from receding - those that are out of river and stream channels - but when the velocities are high the tide just can't compete.
Desiree November 09, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Im thinking mos def a roller rink or ice rink
Bill Miller November 09, 2012 at 11:24 PM
How about an outdoor amphitheater/park that could hold events and music? Just a thought ;)
Desiree November 09, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Chuckee cheese
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau November 10, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Barry Martin, I have no dispute that the data from the Flood District/Flood Project supports their efforts. If the data suggested otherwise they would have to deal with a skeptical public. Your job would become much more difficult. Regardless of where the flood waters are going, it should be necessary that any structure in that area be elevated to prevent structural damage in the event that the thorough efforts of the flood project should ever fail. Nature will always humble mankinds best efforts.
Diana November 10, 2012 at 02:27 AM
red lobster
Michael Haley November 10, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Michael Haley November 10, 2012 at 02:38 AM
what about mos def himself? he could stand out there and hip hop for the tourists, and of course do a locals night at 15% off
Michael Haley November 10, 2012 at 02:38 AM
rock lobster
Ro Carlson November 10, 2012 at 02:54 AM
I think a roller rink would be better by the new theatre. Downtown is designed to attract tourists,...arts, wine tasting, upscale restaurants.
Robert Peebles, Jr. November 10, 2012 at 07:37 AM
It's going to a parking lot. That's what the register reported.
Heather Watson November 10, 2012 at 08:02 AM
I am sure whatever goes in that space won't be for the locals. I loved Dan's suggestion of the Arts Center or something that builds our community instead of pushing us out. Heather WAtson
Penny November 10, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Since it has flooded more than once, the walls probably have mold in them so I say tear it down and see what happens in the next flood. Where the water finds it's way - it is in the flood way and don't just use it because it is an empty spot.
bucket November 11, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Dollars to donuts....an office building.
BoxLab November 13, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Sportsman's Warehouse!!!


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