The intimate, hard-to-find Lost Church has been operating at 65 Capp Street as an underground theater venue for the last six years, but had previously been the Capp Street Project since as far back as 1983. The current Lost Church has been inching through the zoning and approval process since reopening the venue in 2011, and these efforts are paying off. Mission Local reports that the Lost Church has received a conditional use permit from the Planning Department. While the venue technically still requires another Building Department permit and Entertainment Commission approval to operate as a theater in a residential area, the conditional use permit from Planning took three years to obtain.
“It is a huge step,” Lost Church owner and director Brett Cline told Mission Local. “But it is only a first step to obtaining all the permits and licenses that I need.”
The Lost Church’s website describes the location as “a venue for grownups who support the underground scene” and “who crash out well before the booty-calling hour.” A look at the venue’s upcoming events page shows performances scheduled for every night the rest of July (except Sundays and Mondays) including a sold-out event tonight called You're Going To Die: Poetry, Prose & Everything Goes.
The venue has been operating as an underground theater, possibly being allowed to because they’ve made good-faith measures to render the location code-compliant. (Lost Church shut down for several months in 2014 to make the space ADA accessible.) Those improvements, as well as the costs of permits, have largely been crowdsourced. “I owe it all to my supporters and donors,” Cline told Mission Local. “Without them I couldn’t have gotten anywhere.”
The Lost Church’s Entertainment Commission hearing is still not scheduled, though Capp Street Crap reports the venue is soliciting letters of support from the community, which can be emailed to [email protected]