Fremont theater to reopen after bees exterminated

slinn@thetribunenews.comJuly 12, 2013 

The Fremont theater in San Luis Obispo.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

After a brief bee scare, San Luis Obispo’s Fremont Theatre is ready to reopen.

“The bees have been neutralized,” theater co-owner Rob Rossi wrote Friday in an email.

On Wednesday, Rossi closed the historic building at 1025 Monterey St. following the discovery of a large colony of bees.

Rossi, who owns the Fremont and the adjacent Mission Cinemas with fellow developer John King, said bees apparently infiltrated the southwest side of the structure through a tiny opening in a concrete wall near the roof, some 40 feet off the ground.

The hole, which measured one-eighth of an inch wide, was part of the original design of the Fremont, which opened in 1942, he said.

The bees’ nest was “sandwiched within the roof framing, in an inaccessible cavity above the ceiling,” Rossi wrote, forcing maintenance crews to cut a hole through the theater’s roof.

“It was deemed safer to go in from the top … (which) avoided scaffolding inside and destruction of historic ceiling features,” he wrote, adding that the bees were exterminated before workers could access the space.

“We could not find a beekeeper who … felt that they could safely remove the hive,” Rossi added. “The danger to workers and the surrounding (area) was an unacceptable risk.”

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