Very late notice:
Tomorrow night (Monday, April 16, 6:30 pm) neighbors from the Monroe-Oxford-Goodman-Meigs area, plus some Ellwanger and Barryites like myself and people from other parts of the city and suburbs, will converge on City Hall (Room 302-A) to rescue the Monroe Theater.
Once again a developer proposes to demolish most of the historic building, putting an end to its long purgatorial existence as Show World, but doing the neighborhood no other favors. The proposal, having got the kid-glove treatment so far, entails using only the façade of the theater as a Potemkin village in miniature for a grossly out-of-scale Rite Aid meant to replace the equally ugly but thankfully smaller Drug Box just across the street. (Rochesterians of a certain age will remember that Rite Aid started out on Monroe where the fish market now is located, at the corner of Rowley; it was bad enough when the company weaseled its way into the faux plaza behind Blockbuster.)
Armed with a passle of variances granted by cooperative zoning officials, the developers now will take their dog-and-pony spectacle to the city’s planning commission. The good news – at least for the next 24 hours – is that folks might stop the insanity.
Haven’t we lost enough theaters already? And, as others are asking, isn’t the city looking for performing arts spaces? Enough drooling over Renaissance Square. Save the Monroe!