Many may have forgotten the old Plaza Theater next to Hollywood Soaps & Suds on Old Mammoth Road—others may never have known it existed. But at the Nov. 18 Chamber of Commerce meeting, businessman Mark Vincent presented the space, now the Mammoth Lakes Community Arts Theater, as a venue for music, film, and more.
Vincent said his journey to Mammoth, from Los Angeles by way of Boston, was closing a circle he began in 1974. “I started an event company in ’74 in Boston, with events at ski lodges in New Hampshire,” he said. From there he developed his skills as a sound engineer and DJ, moving to L.A. in 1982.
“I came to the mountains to relax and enjoy, and fell in love with the opportunity to move my business model up here,” he said of Mammoth.
Vincent met business partner Jon Jacoby, a local musician, at the Gimme Shelter Carnival last summer. “He brought me to the theater and I saw an amazing building with a lot of showcase opportunities,” Vincent said.
Thanks to their efforts, the Community Arts Theater now boasts improved stage lighting, a monitoring system for bands, high definition main house sound system, digital, 32-channel soundboard, and a high power projector to DVI specifications.
“We see this as space for promoting music arts, as well as a theater, and even a private and confidential training room for business and legal use,” Vincent said.
Jacoby, who is working on developing a musician’s guild, said he hopes the Theater will become a hotspot for local musical talent—particularly young talent.
“One of our goals is to bring kids in to make music here,” Vincent agreed. “We could have open mic night, garage band practice, or even private shows for friends.”
The space would also be great for movie screenings and photography shows, a point illustrated with a presentation by local photographer Bryan Wuerker on Nov. 18.
“Everybody has so much talent in this town that I’m just the guy making the fruitcake,” Vincent said.
Vincent is also the founder of Eastern Sierra Entertainment Services, a creative event production company that aims to provide entertainment from Death Valley to South Lake Tahoe.
“Our company goal is to work cooperatively with venues and restaurants, nonprofits, anyone wishing to have a good party,” Vincent said. Among the company’s projects is a party shuttle linking Bishop to Mammoth, which Vincent said he’s working on with the Paiute Palace Casino, Schat’s Roadhouse, and Sierra Nevada Lodge.
Vincent said he sees even more opportunities to draw new markets, like car and motorcycle clubs, to the area. “We’re looking for non-traditional, yet-untapped ways for people to come from major cities and enjoy the Eastern Sierra,” he said. “We have big visions.”
For more info on booking the Theater, call Robin Thompson at 760.937.2997.