|One of artist Howard Connelly's giant tricycles, shown here in Colesville, will be on display at Discover Long Branch! Photo by Andrew Benson on Flickr.|
Nearly four months ago, I organized a charrette or design workshop exploring possible futures for the Flower Theatre, a 1950's-era Art Deco theatre that was an anchor of Long Branch for decades. Since then, the newly-organized Flower Theatre Project has compiled a report of social and economic conditions affecting the viability of reopening the theatre and held a few meetings with community leaders and the property's owner.
The Flower Theater Project's next step is to reach out into the broader community, in the hopes that a stronger neighborhood and local economy will draw the kind of investment needed to bring the Flower Theatre back to life. We've been reaching out to the Long Branch Business League, a group of local business leaders, which is organizing a series of Discover Long Branch! events to raise awareness of the area and its businesses. Their first one will be held Monday, December 3 at El Golfo Restaurant, located at 8739 Flower Avenue, from 6 to 9pm.
From their press release:
The Long Branch Business League and Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) are initiating a series of events, called Discover Long Branch! The events offer both spectacle and specials.
At each Discover Long Branch! event, beginning in December, customers will get the chance to personally meet the owner, enjoy special discounts and be entertained by innovative arts and music in the eclectic neighborhood whose boundaries include Piney Branch Road between Flower Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue.
El Golfo will offer customers a 25 percent discount on its famously diverse Latino food (which also extends to less typical Latin fare, like excellent chocolate mousse). For children of all ages, there will be a giant (8-foot tall) tricycle to ride, weather permitting. The giant tricycle was created by local sculptor Howard Connelly. There will be other artistic attractions as well.
The series is part of a larger community revitalization effort being spearheaded by the newly reformed Long Branch Business League in partnership with MHP and a wide variety of other local non-profits, artists and arts organizations.
If you're interested in the future of the Flower Theatre, I encourage you to come out. I'll be there along with some folks from the Flower Theatre Project. We'll be talking about our report and some of our goals for the future. It's also a chance to visit an awesome Long Branch restaurant and try some great Latino food (I am partial to their quesadillas, though I'm told their chocolate mousse is also amazing).
For more information about the event and Long Branch, visit the Business League's website or email their contacts, Carlos Perozo and Paul Grenier. And if you'd like to learn more about the Flower Theatre Project, please visit our webpage.