The Starlight, a Balboa Park venue that preservationists wish to re-establish. Photo credit: @SaveStarlight, via Facebook

Local preservationists are taking on a different task this holiday season – giving children a one-on-one virtual opportunity with one Mr. Santa Claus.

The Save Starlight organization, the non-profit working in tandem with the city in hopes of restoring the historic Starlight Amphitheater in Balboa Park, will host Santa’s Zoom Room beginning Sunday.

Zoom slots with Santa are available from 5-8 p.m. each night through Tuesday. Families can sign up online.

Volunteers with the group established Starlight Amphitheaters Streaming Studios to update technology at the venue. They also hope to serve the community as the pandemic continues.

The studios will open in 2021 for community events and performances.

“The Starlight Bowl holds lots of memories for San Diegans – and we look forward to continuing to make new ones. Starlight Streaming Studios is one way we will address the future at the Starlight Bowl. We welcome everyone to this initial holiday effort,” said Save Starlight CEO Steve Stopper.

The Starlight opened for the 1935-36 California International Pacific Exposition in Balboa Park, but after decades of success, fell into decline.

Major stars used to perform there, from Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Ross to the Ramones and Elvis Costello. The last performance there took place in 2010.

– Staff reports

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