TV legend Barbara Bain goes to bat for WeHo playhouse


Actress Barbara Bain, star of the original Mission: Impossible TV series and now a director at the Actor’s Studio in West Hollywood, sang the praises of the new, state-of-the-art playhouse proposed by WeHo city planners at Monday night’s City Council.

The former Coast Playhouse on Santa Monica Boulevard across from City Hall had been on track for a renovation, but the project recently ballooned in scope and budget, creating some reservations on City Council. 

@wehoonline #missionimpossible actress Barbara Bain advocates for new playhouse in #weho ♬ original sound – WehoOnline


“An extraordinary thing is happening here in this city tonight,” Bain said. “We are considering approving a theater. It is happening nowhere else in the country. They’re ripping theaters down left and right and putting in cleaners, gas stations, and Lord knows what else. So, we have an opportunity here that I don’t want to miss. Everything about building a theater—I don’t know, I’m sure you’re aware of the statistics—it generates funds. When there’s an arts institution in the community, there’s a lot of money made, suddenly.”

The city recently reported that its nonprofit arts and culture sector generated $12.4 million in the local economy. 


“Ergo, as we used to say way back then, the quicker we do it, the quicker that kind of thing will start happening where there will be money,” Bain said. “And the longer we put it off—how many of you have built a kitchen? How many times has it stalled, and you had to wait? The longer you wait, the cost goes up; it doesn’t go down.

“So, there’s some knowledge we all have as a community in relation to building something. And the extraordinary thing about building something—the team that Ric Abramson has put together is so eloquent. This theater serves both the artist and the community equally and embraces everything that this city is about, which you call yourselves the Creative City, don’t you? What a motto, what an idea! And yes, indeed, I have been here since 1984 when it first became a city and watched that kind of growth, the creative solutions to many problems, the welcoming of people from all over, the embrace of so many new ideas. You’re a leading city in that regard, and this is another chance to lead, to show what can be done.”

Council had originally approved a $6.5 million price tag on the renovation, but recent additions to the project boosted the estimate up to as high as $17.8 million. Bain’s commentary was apparently persuasive — the changes to the project were approved Monday in a 5-0 vote. 





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Steve Zlick
Steve Zlick
21 days ago

I appreciated Ms. Bain’s passionate support for the new playhouse, which has been in the works for nearly a decade and might need just about another decade to finish and open. But while the city council approved the budget ballooning to $20 million, which they specifically said the city could afford, I think it’s a boondoggle. During the same meeting, too many members bemoaned what litigation might cost to fight the monstrosity of “Builders Remedy” skyscrapers going up on quiet and very narrow residential streets zoned for 2-story buildings. Since this all came about due to the Council’s admitted mistake… Read more »

24 days ago

I love Ms. Bain’s work and her devotion to the theater but since the city also now owns the lots with Crossroads, the drycleaner, and Joey’s (and I am sure is in talks to take the Basix/Marix lot) it would be best to put the whole thing on hold and create a cohesive project that allows for the theater spaces, other uses and perhaps parking. As someone who worked at several shows at the Coast I can tell you that the first thing out of every theater-goers mouth was “where do I park?” and the answer that the Kings Road… Read more »

Carleton cro9nin
25 days ago

We cannot have too many stages where the free expression of ideas and art are available for all. Thank you, Ms.Bain

Carleton cro9nin
25 days ago

We cannot have too many stages where the free expression of ideas
and art are available for all. Thank you, Ms. Bain.

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
26 days ago


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