New Weed Palace Theater owner Michelle Goldsmith says her goals include live music concerts, opening for other arts events and community workshops and "collaborating with the City on events and being a resource for the people in the region to come together for arts and music.”
The Weed Palace Theater had a grand reopening Earth Day celebration presented Friday night by new owner Michelle Goldsmith.
Once a movie theater, the building located at 200 Main Street in Weed was most recently occupied by the recording studio Radiostar, which occasionally put on events.
All proceeds from the Earth Day event went to the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center. Beer was donated by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Bands donated their time, and sound was brought by Shasta Live Sounds with MC Amelia Scysen in black and white stripes, polka dots, fish nets and “locally made” zebra striped boots. A sparkling tiny hat topped off the look, which Scysen called being “fantastically dressed.”
The Ecology Center had a table with information and a “Water for Weed” petition.
Goldsmith was “raised in the music industry,” she said. Her father does light shows for bands and her mother worked as a stagehand and security at places like the Warfield and the Fillmore. She said she was raised between Sonoma and San Francisco “working with the Grateful Dead and Bill Graham as well as Arlo Guthrie and Warren Haynes.”
Goldsmith has been in the production industry on the West coast and in northern California. She said she “resonated and had an affinity with the Mt. Shasta area. I lived in Shasta County for seven years and have a background in small events and festivals.”
“I was looking at potential venues for several years – one day I was toddling down Main Street in a blizzard and I saw it was for sale. I called immediately,” she said about the Palace Theater, a large, art deco building.
“My bigger goals are to have live music concerts regularly. Also to be able to have a space open for different arts, for community workshops, and get established as a nonprofit and have an outlet for children in the region to experience professional productions and quality staging for costumes and instruments. I look forward to collaborating with the City on events and being a resource for the people in the region to come together for arts and music.”
The event included vendors like massage therapist Molly Maria, who said she had just moved here from Albany, New York.
Live painting was done by Amanda Thomas of Weed. She was painting a piece inspired by Carl Sagan and his musings on the view of the earth from far away, seeing it as but a tiny ball, yet filled with all of our human problems, she said.
The new owner’s father Steve Goldsmith brought his Liquid Lights show for a visual display on the stage behind the bands that played.
He said he wanted to do “anything to help out Michelle. I want to see her succeed. She’s an amazing lady and has an incredible vision,” Steve said of his daughter.
He said they used to live in Shasta County but moved “because of the crime rate” to nearby Placerville.
“The Weed Palace has incredible potential,” continued Steve. “The locals would grumble that it’s not that kind of ‘weed.’ They just need to embrace it, it’s the future.”
“I think it’s great. We need something other than the bowling alley,” said Loraina Akasha of Weed. “There needs to be a shift in perspective. People come to Weed to buy souvenirs and they want to experience some of that culture. But there’s no culture here.”
Longtime local Shannon Clover, owner of the former Buddha Belly Restaurant, said, “I think it’s awesome and well overdue for what the community has envisioned: a mountain community performance arts center. I’m very happy with the openness here.”
For many people, it was their first time in Weed. “I’ve been in the area before but this is my first time in Weed. It seems great,” said Jeremiah Sandwater of Oregon.
“I was glad that a lot of locals also came in, and many of them said they hadn’t been here since it was a cinema,” said Goldsmith. “It’s a true cornerstone of the Main Street of Weed.
“I know that our event brought business to Papa’s Place, the bowling alley and the organic store and that’s what we want,” Michelle Goldsmith said.
The next event will be an official Pre-Party for the Weed Fest on June 3. The Chamber of Commerce will host a bar in the theater with doors opening at 5 p.m. and music beginning at 6 p.m. Experienced volunteers are welcome and there will be donations accepted at the door. Weed Fest will be the next day, Saturday and is planned to be an all day event.
Call Michelle Goldsmith at (530) 340-2262 for more information about events at the Weed Palace Theater or find them on Facebook.