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Garfield High opens doors to new Jaime Escalante Auditorium

Aaron Stella | April 7, 2014

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Jamie Escalante Auditorium

Jamie Escalante Auditorium (Photo by Jesse Saucedo)

Garfield High School held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Saturday for the Jaime Escalante Auditorium, which appears as a radical improvement over the old theater set ablaze by an arsonist seven years ago.

Construction of the new auditorium included the restoration of Memorial plaza, which connects the auditorium to a new three-story building that includes classrooms and administrative offices.

Before the fire, the 82-year-old theater boasted such fineries as large interior murals and chandeliers. Now, with its modern makeover, it can seat 1,400, and is equipped with a high-end, audio-visual system and broadcast production studio. The exterior is covered with large, colorful images of performers, as well as Escalante, the acclaimed math teacher who taught at the school and inspired the making of the film, “Stand And Deliver.”

“The Garfield community is ecstatic over the ribbon cutting event of our new auditorium,” said Principal Jose Huerta in The Eastsider LA. ” Our students will finally be able to showcase their talents in music, drama and video production in a state-of-the art venue. The arts will come alive once again at Garfield Senior High School.”

School officials say they are hopeful that the new auditorium will spur a revival of arts on the East L.A. campus.

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