The Lost Church,  a small theater at 65 Capp St. that has provided an intimate music and theater experience for six years, came somewhat closer to becoming a legitimate space in June when the Planning Department approved a conditional use permit.

“It is a huge step,” said Brett Cline, the director/owner, who has been trying to get the theater fully permitted for the past three years “But it is only a first step to obtaining all the permits and licenses that I need.”

Next, Cline will meet with the Building Department to get authorization for the use of the building as a theater.

The process to getting the conditional use permit – needed to operate as a theater in a residential area – was arduous and confusing, he said, but he is glad to finally have it.

Cline started the theater in 2011 as a space that could support the underground art scene. He wanted to create a place that was “good for the soul.” That includes multimedia plays like Just Another Rock N Roll Nightmare and Just Another Bloody Valentine can create a sense of community and maintain the culture of a place.

“I owe it all to my supporters and donors,” he said referring to the money he needed to pursue the permits.  “Without them I couldn’t have gotten anywhere.”

Cline is crossing his fingers that the Lost Church will soon be fully licensed and hopes that his experience will show others that opening a small theater is still possible, even in the increasingly costly Mission District.

The next event at the Lost Church is on June 27th featuring Addie and the Subtrax and the Littlest Birds. And they have more events lined up for the rest of June for anyone interested in underground musicians.

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