Coming soon: a theater near you – Truckee Art Haus on track for downtown
Downtown Truckee is set to get a new movie theater with the planning commission’s approval of the Truckee Art Haus as part of the Railyard project.
The 12,000 square-foot theater will include three auditoriums with the option for performing arts, a meeting hall and a bar.
“Truckee really needs a theater,” said Melissa Siig, who plans to develop the theater along with her husband, Steven.
The two have submitted an application for the theater in October and have spent extensive time working with an architect and the town to develop a building that fit the downtown landscape.
“We have vetted everything through the master plan,” said Steven Siig. “We tweaked our design to a certain degree, it put us over budget at this point, but we’re willing to do that,” he said.
They have been operating the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema in Tahoe City since 2014 which only houses one screen. The theater shows popular films during peak seasons, while opening up the space for independent film screenings and community fundraisers when available.
“Every time we get a phone call or email from a community member asking to do independent films, show their films or do a performance, we try to honor that,” said Melissa Siig. She said one reason the business has been successful is due to their deep connection with the local community and willingness to offer services when needed. “Community is very important to us,” she said.
“I am overall very supportive of this,” said Commissioner Jerusha Hall. “I think that what is being provided is exceptional.”
Several Truckee residents supported the project along with representatives from local organizations including Mountain Area Preservation, Truckee Cultural District, the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association and the Truckee Public Arts Commission.
“Our downtown deserves to have a theater to add vibrancy, culture and arts to an already very colorful and unique mountain town,” Alexis Ollar, executive director of Mountain Area Preservation, said at Tuesday’s planning commission meeting. “With the anticipation of the theater coming to life in the near future it’s a really exciting time for the downtown extension,” she said.
“I love everything about it,” Sara Smith, co-chair of Truckee Arts Alliance, told the couple. “You do support small community theater, local filmmakers and nonprofits.”
The town has been redeveloping the Truckee Railyard site for the past 20 years. Over the summer, developers made noticeable changes to the site that include the realignment of Donner Pass Road, a new downtown parking lot, installing a 54-inch underground pipe for sewage and a complete cleanup of the site.
A new roundabout that diverts traffic straight along the parking lot then north through the roundabout was completed in the fall, along with the undergrounding of overhead utilities.
The Railyard project will include the Artist Lofts, 90 units of affordable housing, the Railhouse, 46 hotel and condominium units and ground floor retail, and the Art House Square, 22 studio units and a commercial space once designated for a Nugget Markets, which pulled out of the space last year.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.