Orpheum SHN Theatre

Orpheum SHN Theatre (Photo credit: SHN Facebook)

San Francisco Performance Venues Angered Over Proposed BART Closure

Megan Goldsby
March 08, 2018 - 1:31 pm

(KCBS Radio) - Closure of two entrances to the Civic Center BART Station in San Francisco has theatres in the area worried about a possible drop in attendance. KCBS Radio's Megan Goldsby reports the fear is that patrons will be too scared to attend.

It can be an impossible area to park in. So the best bet for seeing a ballet show at the Orpheum or the opera is to take BART. But with the closest entrances likely closing to build a new power station, Jennifer Norris, Assistant Managing Director of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center says people who take transit will now come to street level without a direct eye line to many of the theatres.

"There's that one corner by the library where 5 or 6 streets come together and if you don't know the city, it's a lot going on," Norris said. "Then if you add the fact that it might not be clean, you're stepping over sleeping people, there could be illegal recycling happening. There's a lot of activity that those of us that don't see it every day can find really intimidating and that makes a big difference when a patrons making a decision about whether to buy a ticket and come to a show."

However, District 9 BART director Bevan Dufty says they have considered all their options and the entrances need to be permanently closed in order to make way for a bigger power substation.

"We very much need to have power between our 16th Mission and Civic Center Station," Dufty said. "...and if we don't provide reliable power we are going to continue to see surging and problems just maintaining schedule and speed."

That's before system updates coming by 2025.