Reviving a lost gem

Ampitheater ambience elevated

The Los Medanos College Amphitheater, located outside by the Honors Center, is one of the areas of campus rarely used. Like most LMC students you’re probably asking yourself, “We have one of those?”
“The amphitheater was part of the original design of the college. The dedication of LMC was held there in the fall of 1974,” said Richard Livingston.
Even from the beginning, the amphitheater has been known to be vacant throughout the academic year except for the people who will occasionally sit and hang out in between classes or when it is occasionally used by club Shenanigans for their weekly meetings.
“It seems to be the forgotten area on campus,” said Professor Laurie Huffman. “I’d love to see this area revived.”
She suggested that perhaps the reason for its neglect stems from its location on campus.
Livingston echoed similar sentiments.
“It is a difficult location – out of the general pathways of travel. And it is often too hot/cold and windy out there. It is just not a very comfortable space,” he said.
Past LMC Facilities Master Plans from 2001 and 2007 briefly speak about the amphitheater being rarely used and potential renovations. Additionally, previous LMCAS meetings in spring 2009 also spoke about the future of the amphitheater, but none of those plans ever resulted in much action.
“Given little utilization, as part of long-range facilities planning, there has been discussion about possibly removing the amphitheater (and nearby relocatable that houses the Honors Center) and then developing a nice landscaped area near the lake.” said Livingston.
Another issue with the amphitheater has been keeping up the aesthetics of the area because large amounts of leaves often accumulate due to the wind.
“The amphitheater was a hidden gem on campus, but unfortunately, it had not been maintained in the past,” said Nguyen.
Students like LMCAS Vice President Natasha Garcia have also expressed similar ideas about the amphitheater.
“We have all these improvements [on campus] … however, we have a structure already built in that if we just did a basic cleanup we could do so much with it … and just use it to its full potential.”
Recently the amphitheater held its cleanup Saturday, Oct, 1 in preparation for the movie night event held Thursday, Oct. 7.
“I just decided since I’m a student here and I’ve seen it be abandoned for the past couple of years that I’ve been here that we should do something with it,” said Garcia. “[The movie night event] is kind of like a launch party … so other clubs could see that it does have potential”
While in the past, it seems as though the theater has only been used periodically.
“The amphitheater was not being used, so the Office of Student Life and student volunteers from student clubs got together to clean up the place in order to make it a presentable venue for the campus community,” said Student Life coordinator John Nguyen. “Since it is an outside venue, the maintenance is continuous and ongoing.”
Nguyen and Garcia have expressed interest in holding more events in the future as well as collaborating with other departments and programs on campus.
“The last time there was an event at the amphitheater was years ago. We are so excited to finally have the space available again,” said Nguyen. “We are looking forward to a lot more movie nights and performances at the amphitheater.”