SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — An effort to revitalize the historic Starlight Bowl Amphitheater in Balboa Park is getting a big boost.
Before he died last month, Tom Petty and his band signed a guitar to help raise money for those trying to save the venue.
"It's got history like nobody else, since 1935 it's been here,” said Save Starlight founder and CEO Steve Stopper.
He and the other folks with Save Starlight are runnin' down a dream.
Back in this old town, when Fred Astaire was learning to fly he sang at the Starlight.
The venue had something in the air that brought big name acts into the great wide-open amphitheater.
"It was the place to be seen in San Diego back in the heyday,” said Stopper.
Yep, it was good to be king, but it was too good to be true.
People just don't come around here no more.
Shut down in 2012, the Starlight is missing letters, missing paint and missing people.
It's suffered a major breakdown and is, simply put: freefallin’
"We need to resurrect this place,” said big boss man Stopper who says don't do me like that.
The founder of Save Starlight, and former sound guy inside the walls of the venue, Stopper is hoping to make it better.
"This thing with the Tom Petty guitar, has been a great window to open everybody's eyes,” he said.
During Petty's last visit down south, he played at Kaaboo and signed a guitar to raise money for Save Starlight.
"He's gone but he's helping us right now,” said Stopper.
It's an all or nothin' push to reopen the Starlight.
"I have Coachella-type sound systems, video walls, but we need support,” Stopper said.
If you haven't been a face in the crowd here before - or visited on a big weekend - Save Starlight says it's time to listen to her heart.
The organization wants to auction off 20 signed guitars - like Petty's - to help get the amphitheater up and running.
They hope to host concerts, festivals and plays in the venue.