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A new mural of an old theater is coming to downtown Paso Robles

The 1940s photograph of the T&D Theatre in Paso Robles is to be featured in a mural planned by the Downtown Main Street Association and local artist Steve Kalar.
The 1940s photograph of the T&D Theatre in Paso Robles is to be featured in a mural planned by the Downtown Main Street Association and local artist Steve Kalar.

A North County artist and members of the Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association plan to use art to preserve a piece of the city’s history.

The city Planning Commission recently approved a mural by Steve Kalar, a San Miguel artist and aesthetics designer, to appear on the alley side of Paso’s Pizza Kitchen, at 625 12th St.

The mural will be an enlarged version of a 1940s black-and-white photograph of an old Paso Robles landmark: the T&D Theatre, flanked by Lenzner’s Sportwear. The Pizza Kitchen now occupies Lenzner’s old spot, and Spearhead Coffee does business in T&D’s space.

Unlike traditional murals, which are painted directly onto walls, the enlarged photo will be printed on a 27-by-14-foot piece of vinyl and attached to the building, Kalar said. No paint will be used.

Kalar said the idea for the mural was proposed by a tenant of one of the spaces on the street, who came across the photo. A painted mural was originally proposed, but the lower-cost vinyl option prevailed, he said.

City staff documents say the Downtown Main Street Association will enter into an agreement with Phil Cagliero, the building’s owner, to put up the mural. The organization will maintain the piece, which Kalar said will last about 10 to 12 years before it will need to be redone.

“Most people are going to think it was painted on the side of the building,” Kalar said.

The T&D Theatre pictured in the photo opened in the 1930s and was torn down in the ’50s. The Fox Theatre, Paso Robles’ last remaining old movie house, was sold in May to Re:Find Distillery after decades of vacancy.

When asked about the photo, Downtown Main Street Association executive director Norma Moye said simply, “It’s the T&D where we all used to go to the movie theater.”

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseyholden27

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