How San Diego Became a Cultural Institution Graveyard
The Ken Cinema is set to close its doors at the end of the month, and the San Diego Opera’s fate is in question as well. And those groups aren’t outliers in what’s been a rough year for the cultural community.
File photo by Sam Hodgson
The iconic Ken Cinema was saved from closure after an outcry from supporters.
But the Ken’s little brother, Kensington Video just a few doors down, wasn't quite so lucky.
Loss is an unfortunate part of life, whether it’s your granny, your puppy or your favorite band T-shirt gone in a nasty breakup. Lately, it seems like San Diego’s cultural scene has been losing some of its biggest institutions. While people were still ramping up their rallying to save the San Diego Opera, they got news that another icon was about to close down: the Ken Cinema.
But these two aren’t the first institutions we lost this year. There have been others dropped, and in many cases it was for financial reasons. For some, there’s still hope. But others are total losses for our local cultural landscape.
San Diego Opera
The opera’s Board of Directors originally voted to close on April 13 after its last performance of “Don Quixote,” citing financial struggles and a loss of support from members of the community. But after an outcry rivaling that of “Turandot,” the board voted to postpone the closure of the 49-year-old institution until April 29 while they re-examine the opera’s finances.
Things were looking pretty bleak. The opera’s artistic and general director, Ian Campbell, came under fire for the loss of 300-400 jobs, his own hefty salary and for blaming a lack of interest in opera as the closure was announced.