Historic California theater earns green certification

The Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California, has been accredited as a Santa Barbara County Green Business, according to the website Noozhawk. It is the first theatrical venue to complete the certification program, as well as the first historic building.

To earn the certification, the Lobero Theatre underwent a thorough review and implemented solutions to improve efficiency in electricity and water use and a sustainable transportation plan for staff members.

All of the improvements were introduced in a way that was congruous with the Lobero’s historic aesthetic and corporate culture, officials said.

As a historic building and cultural landmark, the Lobero is conscious of its lasting presence in the Santa Barbara community and views adapting sustainable practices as a practical and advantageous way to ensure the vitality of the theater long into the future, Noozhawk wrote.

The certification marks several years of gradual changes to ensure environmentally safe practices at the Lobero Theatre. In 2011, the Lobero became the first theatrical or cinematic business to join the city of Santa Barbara’s recycling and foodscraps recycling programs.

These practices include requiring the use of compostable and biodegradable plates, flatware and paper products at all Lobero events, concessions and receptions. The Lobero also composts all leftover foodscraps and will continue to use sorted trash collectors.

Soon after implementing these programs, the Lobero Theatre Foundation unveiled plans for a large-scale renovation of the building in 2013, which included efficiency upgrades to plumbing and electrical systems.

More updates were included in the 2013 “Encore: Lobero” renovations, including installing low-flow toilets throughout the building, and any toilets that were not replaced at that time have since been retrofitted to reduce water use.

New landscaping practices and drip lines keep outdoor water usage at a minimum. New energy efficient bulbs have been replaced throughout the building, and approved plans are in place for future improvements, including eco-friendly lighting for the Lobero’s centerpiece chandelier.

Other electrical systems including heating and air conditioning have been inspected and approved. In addition, the Lobero Theatre has moved to using non-toxic cleaning supplies throughout. 

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