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This news that Lyric Opera San Diego is in a financially desperate situation reminded me that the Birch North Park Theatre has been hailed over the last several years as a revitalizing force in the neighborhood.

The New York Times’ flyby last year called the theater’s renovation and reopening the “tipping point” in making North Park vibrant and diverse.

When I flagged that post last December, I noted that North Park was one of five pilot villages named in San Diego’s “City of Villages” redevelopment plan to create walkable neighborhood centers.

That villages plan is not nearly as grand as it was when the city shouted it from the rooftops when it first began in 2004. But the theater’s renovation is one piece of the plan that did happen, and it’s credited with luring a lot of the restaurants and shops to the neighborhood.

Please contact Kelly Bennett directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531 and follow her on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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