Three months after closing abruptly in the midst of classes, the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts has announced a limited summer session to begin July 7.

The center closed at the same time as the senior center, the community center and the library after the first confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in San Joaquin County in March. Staff members returned this week to prepare for reopening, including arts education director Valerie Pavlakis.

“We’re ready to see those smiling faces back at the Grand,” she said. “We’re going to start off with the set of classes you see in the catalog and hopefully grow from there, you know, in future semesters.”

Classes for all ages are included in the summer catalog, which can be found on the Grand’s website, But there’s an emphasis on youth, including several children’s summer camps in musical theater, writing and drawing.

Registration opened online at 9 a.m. Tuesday, and the box office will open next Tuesday for in-person registration.

“Right off the bat, within the first hour or two, we had our youth wheel throwing class filled up with a waitlist,” Pavlakis said Wednesday. “There’s a kids’ drama camp that was almost full, so, you know, some of the classes are definitely hot commodity and filling up.”

At first, the Grand will be open only during normal business hours, which means no evening or Saturday classes. In keeping with state guidance, masks or other face coverings will be required.

Classrooms will also look different to allow 6 feet of distance between students and instructors. On Wednesday, staff members moved pianos, tables and chairs around the Grand’s music rooms.

“Today was Day 1, and we started looking at each classroom and rearranging furniture,” Pavlakis said. “Then, once classes start, staff will be in the routine of going down, wiping down everything or spraying.”

Online registration is ongoing through the Grand’s website and For more information, people can call the arts education department at 831-6276 or the box office at 831-6858.

Contact Melanie Smith at or 830-4232.

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