Ingleside's El Rey Theatre Gets A New Mural

An arts group and local high school students put up the new mural in May, replacing one that had been vandalized.

A mural that says "Reimagine."
A new mural has popped up on a graffiti-ridden part of the El Rey theatre. | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

Reimagine the neighborhood with its latest bit of public art.

Six sophomores from Lick-Wilmerding High School joined 1 A.M. Projects founder Daniel Pan and Antoine Marnata in May to replace a mural on the boarded-up El Rey Theatre as part of the school’s last Public Purpose Program Days.

“The kids are talented,” Pan said, who has produced other public art in Ingleside such as the Welcome to Ocean Avenue mural on the retaining wall at Ocean and Geneva avenues. “Their parents and grandparents remembered El Rey Theatre when it was active as a theater. They really were romancing the fact that this mural should include the whole theater aspect.”

The theme, decided by students, centered around the word “imagine.” The Ocean Avenue Association also took to Instagram in April to help gather feedback from the community on what the theme meant to them for inspiration on the mural’s design.

The mural depicts the word “reimagine” in a blue gradient against a yellow and orange gradient background fitted with palm trees on the left side. The “re” and additional highlights are portrayed in neon light-style accents done in bright shades of yellow and green.

“The captivating artwork invites passersby to (re)IMAGINE,” LWHS’s Instagram post said.

Lick-Wilmerding High School students with artists from 1 A.M. Projects at the former El Rey Theatre. | Courtesy photo

It was created with a goal of bringing more foot traffic to the area and inspiring the community to re-establish the lively aspects of the theater like it once was. In addition, it was painted to help deter graffiti, which the theater has had trouble with over the years.

This project was also fully funded by 1 A.M. Projects. Pan said they try to do at least two projects that are outside of their contracted work a year to create accessible community murals on public-facing walls. They also provided all materials used like spray paint.

1 A.M. Projects had previously put a mural on the space that said "El Rey Theatre" in an Art Deco fashion.

“We want people to know or rethink what [the El Rey Theatre] could be because that's how things eventually happen,” Pan said “If there's enough will and desire to see this as say a school or a community place or something then that's how things happen.”

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to The Ingleside Light.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.