Sunday, November 1, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The aging red curtain was replaced with one looking golden to most of us.
The new curtain flies in and out, just like the old one did.
"Flying in and out" means something on a stage can be raised out of view or brought down from an overstage storage area known as a fly gallery and be viewed by an audience.
Things that are lowered to be viewed by an audience are "flown in" and when things are removed from the viewable portion of a stage by raising it out of sight, they are "flown out"
The new curtain can fly in and fly out, but it also is able to 'travel'
When something relating to stages or performances on a stage area move from out of sight and move from the sides and into a viewable area, it is said that those items 'travel'
The new curtain, when closed and viewed by the audience, can be made to open from the center to the sides.
The new curtain can either fly or travel, but it cannot do both at the same time.
Some of the more expensive ways for curtains to open and close allow for them to go up and down and from center to side at the same time.
The new one can't do that and that is probably a good thing because it was less expensive to purchase and will cost less to maintain over the coming decades.
One of the best things the new curtain will allow for is the ability to have only a portion of the stage viewable to the audience. It can be completely closed and then completely opened AND it can be completely closed and then only opened a small distance.
More options are now available at the Warner Grand and I hope everyone takes the opportunity to be entertained and informed by visiting this historic theatre, right in downtown San Pedro.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Below are two press releases concerning the Warner on Wednesdays showing of films at the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.
Because I sit in the ticket booth outside the theatre which was opened in 1931 I can attest that the second week of the schedule brought in far more audience members than the first week and hopes are that the crowds will grow larger with every week's film.
Now here is something really unusual about Warner On Wednesdays; paying just $10.00 is better than free!
Here are the details of how that can be.
Regular admission prices for tickets is just $3.00 per ticket. That would be a whole lot more than the hundreds of complementary tickets that have been passed out but even free costs more, if you want popcorn and sodas.
Let's say you and a friend come to the theatre and want two $3.00 tickets. You hand me $6.00 and you get two tickets.
You go to the consession stand and pay $3.50 each for two small popcorns and $2.50 for two small sodas.
Heck, the prices for popcorn and soda beats the stuffing out of regular theatre prices to begin with.
So, you total up the tickets, the popcorn, and the soda. You just spent $18.00 for two tickets, two popcorns, and two small sodas.
Let's say you use two complementary tickets. O.K., that knocks off $6.00 and you still see the movie and enjoy the grub for $12.00.
Think you are smart? How about I sell you a $10.00 special?
That two tickets for the movie, two small popcorns, and two small sodas for just $10.00!
See, that beats free if you want the popcorn and soda.
There are still some complementary tickets roaming around. If you don't want popcorn or sodas, try to find them.
So now here are the two press releases.
Warner Grand Theatre on Wednesdays Proves To Be Popular With the People of San Pedro
Warner On Wednesdays (WOW) a summer film festival - has brought in the crowds and grows in popularity in Downtown San Pedro.
WOW - Warner On Wednsdays in San Pedro
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) – Jun 25, 2009 – In researching the genesis of Warner On Wednesdays (W.O.W) we spoke to producer, Ray Buffer who remarked, "in my time in San Pedro I have encountered a number of people who have told me that they had never been to Warner Grand Theatre, which surprised me. What I learned is that many have had the perception that it is a 'uppity' place where they may not be comfortable - many people were not connecting to the place because the material presented was not known to them, and the price - not attractive."
Buffer continued, "I had been thinking about a way to get more footsteps in the theatre for sometime, and I met with Dave Lynch, owner of Sacred Grounds Coffee House, over lunch. We discussed the economy, and the infrequent events at Warner Grand Theatre. We discussed ways to stimulate concession sales even if it meant producing an event ourselves. We talked about doing a series of 2nd run movies - films that were fairly new, and may just be coming out on DVD. Why rent the film and watch it at home, when for the same price (or less) you can enjoy it on the big screen watching a 35 MM print? I spoke with Lee about doing a series of films and what 'day' would be good for the theatre. We looked at the schedule and saw that Wednesdays and Thursdays were generally available, but Thursdays were less available. Lee told me that John Delgado, president of Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council had wanted to do a series of films for sometime, but things may have stalled. So I met with John and shared my reasons for wanting to do a Summer festival: get people into the theatre for the first time by making it affordable and mainstream and perhaps after the audience gets comfortable, they will come see other events at Warner Grand Theatre. John's reasons were to offer low cost entertainment to his constituents and perform outreach for Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council - he also wanted to see the Warner become a more popular venue for locals like it was when he was kid. We also shared the desire to invigorate business in downtown San Pedro on Wednesday nights. John agreed to work together and approach various councils for funding and I got to work on the film selection, bookings, and marketing. When we settled upon Wednesdays, I came up with "Warner On Wednesdays" (WOW) for our concept and produced posters and materials. As additional sponsors came aboard, fully committed, we revised materials to include them."
Buffer explained, "in May, The PBID and Chamber produced an event tied in with the Mayor's Day of Service called Super Service Saturday. I assisted them with title concept and marketing and by booking Superman Returns for a 4PM showing at Warner. This was where we first mentioned Warner On Wednesdays, and Superman Returns was fairly well attended despite a late marketing attempt. The event showed me that people who had never been to the theatre could be attracted for free. So in exchange for financial support, our sponsors were provided with "free" tickets that announce their sponsorship of the event and extended free admission to the holder courtesy of the funding organization. In addition we were selling $3 tickets at the door, and $10 tickets that included admission, sodas and popcorn for 2."
Buffer expounded, "if the series ultimately proves to be successful, then we would like to continue it either as a Summer Series of 12 films, or as a year round Wednesday event. Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council has provided 85% of the theatre costs, with Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council coming in with 10%, the other 5% of the theatre costs, the film rental, delivery and license fees, and marketing/ticket costs are covered by The Relevant Stage and Sacred Grounds. Revenue goes to mitigate costs, and any excessive profits go back to perpetuate more 'WOW' in the future."
When asked about the costs of this Summer film festival, Buffer answered, "one way TRS is attempting to make sure all the costs are paid for WOW, is by selling preshow on-screen advertising. For $360 (about the cost of a movie license and rental) a business or organization gets their slide shown 3 times or more accompanied by 15 seconds of voice over, before each screening. That amounts to 72 impressions over the 12 film series, which breaks down to just $5 per ad."
Buffer credits the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for working to make sure this community partnership came to fruition, "Lee Sweet, General Manager of the Warner Grand Theatre which is owned by City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs has been invaluable in helping us navigate our way through this first series. He has dealt with all the movie companies - and it is no small feat to book 12 films from nearly as many film companies all within a fairly compact window of time, and juggle scheduling personnel of the theatre, including a projectionist for something the theatre has not seen regularly in a while: back to back film screenings - especially on a weekday."
Buffer advised, "the screenings at 6PM and 9PM hopefully allow those who are retired, out of school, and working from 9 to 5, equal opportunities to take in a WOW film, and eat in downtown San Pedro. We have seen with just the first two films, over 600 people come in to the Warner Grand Theatre on a Wednesday night!"
Buffer concludes, "we hope that people will seize the opportunity to get engaged with the Warner Grand Theatre through this affordable series. Movie theatres typically make their money through concession sales, and with Dave Lynch's recently expanded menu of including hotdogs, and the convenience of buying beer and wine, fresh cookies, popcorn, sodas and candies - we hope that audiences who get to see the movie for free or even for only $3, will be inclined to spend more liberally at the concession stand. Its great to see the community gather in such a beautiful theatre, and use it the way it was intended by its creators".
The Relevant Stage Theatre Company performs in residence at The Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, CA. TRS' mission is to challenge hearts, engage minds and expose truths. TRS tells relevant stories about the contemporary world we share.
Warner On Wednesdays (WOW) is produced through a community partnership between TRS, DCA, Sacred Grounds Coffee House, Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, and Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council.
THE WIZ starring Michael Jackson, to be Screened in San Pedro on August 19th as part of Warner On Wednesdays
2009-06-26 06:47:05 - "The Wiz" can be seen Wednesday, August 19 at 6PM and 9PM at Warner Grand Theatre for only $3, or for $10 you can get two drinks, two popcorn and two tickets. See Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow in a big 35MM print just as audiences saw it 31 years ago.
The Wiz is a 1978 American musical film produced by Motown Productions and Universal Pictures, and released by Universal on October 24, 1978. An urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz featuring an entirely African-American cast, The Wiz was adapted from the 1975 Broadway musical of the same name. The film follows the adventures of Dorothy, a shy schoolteacher from Harlem, New York who finds herself magically transported to the wonderland of Oz — which resembles a fantasy version of New York City. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, Dorothy travels through the world of Oz to seek an audience with the mysterious "Wiz", who they say has the power to take her home.
Produced by Rob Cohen and directed by Sidney Lumet, The Wiz stars Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Mabel King, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor. The film's story was reworked from William F. Brown's Broadway libretto by Joel Schumacher, and Quincy Jones supervised the adaptation of Charlie Smalls & Luther Vandross' songs for film. A handful of new songs, written by Jones and the songwriting team of Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, were added for the film version. The film received four Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Original Music Score and Best Cinematography.
Michael Jackson, a former Motown star who by the start of development on The Wiz in 1977, had left Motown for Epic Records with his brothers The Jacksons, was cast as the Scarecrow. Jackson was dedicated to the role, and watched videotapes of gazelles, cheetahs and panthers in order to learn graceful movements for his part. Critics noted that Jackson possessed "genuine acting talent" and "provided genuinely memorable moments." Of the results of the film, Jackson stated: "I don't think it could have been any better, I really don't." In 1980, Jackson stated that his time working on The Wiz was "my greatest experience so far...I'll never forget that."
Warner On Wednesdays had already scheduled "The Wiz" as part of its Summer Film Festival of affordable for films for families. The selection is made poignant by Jackson's sudden passing. On Wednesday, August 19, There will be two showings of "The Wiz" at 6PM and 9PM at Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th Street, San Pedro. Come see Michael Jackson's film acting debut, on the big screen for this rare opportunity. Visit: www.warnergrand.org for more details.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
The first photo was taken in 1950 and shows my home and about 214 others in what was the first tract of homes built on the west side of Western Avenue.
The second photo is from Google Earth and you can sure tell times and things have changed.
An Article from The News Pilot dated May 4, 1950:
Harbor Area Project Includes 215 Houses
Two Hundred and fifteen new homes are being erected in county territory above Peck Park as the harbor area continues its residential building boom.
The dwellings, known as Western View Homes, are being constructed by Shinn-Worzburger Building Corp. of Los Angeles.
Two Hundred of the structures are two-bedroom homes with attached garages, while the other 15 are three-bedroom houses with detached two-car garages.
The Price range of the smaller structures is $7200 to $7650. The three-bedroom houses are being offered for $8950.
Forty of the dwellings have been completed and several families already have moved into the project. Pioneer families in the area include those of M.O. O'Brion, James J. Prendergast, R. A. Marcoux and F.T. Veazey.
Three new streets have been created by the project-Highmore Ave., Jaybrook Dr. and Homeworth Dr.
The Shinn-Wurzburger firm built 55 new houses in Walteria in 1948 and has also done large-scale housing construction at Hawthorne, Monrovia, Arcadia and Fontana and in the San Fernando Valley.
The Western View project was started last December. One hundred homes are expected to be completed before the end of this month.
My dad told me he signed papers for his home while it was still only a foundation with wood framing on top.
When the house was finished, he and my grandmother moved into the brand new home with my mother joining them when my parents married.
Our home and yards look quite different now. Our house is pictured as the fifth house above Western Avenue on the left side of Trudie. The first house above Western has a Highmore address.
Our house has sort of a gray shading on its side and the two poles behind it basically define the area of our back yard.
No retaining walls, fences, or patio structure exist in the photo.
Thanks to Mr. Fred Crawford for supplying me with the photo and article.
Now for what the area looks like today, see the photo below.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission delays Marymount decision
By Melissa Pamer Staff Writer
Posted: 05/27/2009 06:15:53 PM PDT
After months of meetings, the Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission again this week delayed making a decision on Marymount College's controversial expansion proposal.
At a Tuesday evening meeting that lasted well into Wednesday morning, the four commissioners went in detail over documents needed for the approval of the project, which has been altered in response to concerns from the community and city staff.
Those changes included the removal of two proposed dormitories that would house a total of 250 students. That element of the project has raised the most ire of a group of neighborhood opponents.
Commissioners were split 2-2 on that part of the plan at an April meeting, and Marymount officials altered their proposal in response.
"Rather than waste everyone's time, we just redesigned the campus taking out the residence halls," said Michael Brophy, president of Marymount College. "Our main task right now is to meet the needs of the Planning Commission so we can have approval of what they approve of. And that, for now, is really quite fine."
Although the dorms are no longer part of the plan before the Planning Commission, Marymount officials could still appeal that component to the City Council. Brophy said that decision has not yet been made.
"We are keeping all our options open," he said.
The expansion plan includes a large athletic center, a new library and other facilities that would more than double the footprint of the campus, which is surrounded by residential neighborhoods off Palos Verdes Drive East.
A group of area opponents, Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion, lobbied successfully to have the dorms tabled, but its efforts to have the athletic center removed from the plan has thus far failed. Some changes, however, have been made to that portion of the project.
The group, which has retained lawyers for the battle over the plans, on Tuesday repeated its request to have Commissioner David Tomblin recuse himself after his name appeared on a list of Marymount supporters compiled by the college. Tomblin said he had been advised by the City Attorney's Office that he did not need to recuse himself, adding that he did not recall ever signing any document in support of Marymount.
Three other commissioners had previously recused themselves.
The commission is set to continue deliberations June 9.
There is much more to this story as a result of the recent meeting the Planning Commission held.
During the most recent meeting the Chair of the Commission forbade any speaker from providing any comments about the recent tragedy of the death of a second-year student of the College as a result of a single-vehicle incident.
Lawyers have already been notified about the possible problems with the Brown Act and any speaker's possible violation of their first amendment rights.
However, any mention of the tragedy and its effects on on-campus student housing was already moot since dorms had been taken off the table before the incident occurred.
Next, it seems the Commissioner who recused himself wound up on a printed and published list of supporters of the project even though he never considered himself to be one.
Opponents of the project believe they have grounds to question more of the 897 names submitted by the project's supporters because of that and possibly more irregularities.
What does this all mean to San Pedro?
First, get ready to continue to see the two off-campus housing facilities remain in use, if not grow.
Since one of the Alternatives to having on-campus housing at the College is to expand the off-campus housing along Palos Verdes Drive North, that may still come into play.
The off-campus housing site at 24th and Cabrillo in San Pedro known as Pacific Heights has been slated to be closed by the College for years now. Please don't bother betting it will soon be closed.
The folks at Marymount do not wish you to know that two of their students were injured in a traffic collision on Western Avenue earlier this month, either.
Opponents of the College's Expansion Project may now go after the expansion of the Athletic facilities on the Rancho Palos Verdes Campus.
Since there will not be anyone living on the campus, folks who never liked the large gym playing fields may wish to seek to have them eliminated, too.
I feel that would be a shame because there are lots of students and others that could benefit from having better access to athletic facilities on The Hill.
But it sure looks to many of us like the NIMBYs living close to the campus stuck it again to San Pedrans.
But I can honestly claim that San Pedrans were never out in number to support on-campus housing and the closing of the Pacific Heights housing site when the Planning Commission met.
Where were you San Pedrans? If you really wanted Pacific Heights to close, why weren't more of you commenting to the Planning Commissioners and R.P.V. City Council?
Where are the northwest San Pedro and eastern R.P.V. residents when all the traffic problems that will continue as long as Palos Verdes North stays open with 300 students?
I spoke out many times about the increase of traffic along Western Avenue would have because of the project.
The main opposition group to having on-campus housing used their belief in the expansion of the Palos Verdes North off-campus facility.
It is expected by many that once whatever is granted in the way of the Expansion Project is complete, the College will come back and demand on-campus housing.
Perhaps we on the east side of The Hill have more chances to have our wishes considered.
Friday, May 22, 2009
This blog is dedicated to pondering many issues relating to San Pedro and other local communities.
Whoever believes that San Pedro is just a sleepy bedroom community at the end of the Harbor Freeway is quite mistaken in their beliefs so many of us think.
San Pedro is part of a vibrant ever changing community with more issues than many other communities face.
We are located at the end of just about everything in the L.A. area. We share a peninsula with at least four other cities and we are the largest of them all.
San Pedro is part of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. The two ports combined welcome over 44% of ALL of the goods imported into the United States.
San Pedro continues to be a community in transition. The downtown area is presently undergoing a rough time involving change, loss, and trying to figure out new directions that will benefit everyone.
There is a large residential development project on the community's northwest border that was second only to the massive Playa Vista project.
With change being the only constant, this blog explores many proposed changes and wonders on the Internet what is the best for San Pedro and the surrounding communities.
There has been a lull in my publishing posts lately. If you attended "Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds, The Musical" I was a member of the picketers, The Dominie, and The Bailiff in the show.
After the run of the show I think I'll go back to just being the House Manager for The Relevant Stage Theatre Company and let the real actors perform great musicals in the future.
Thank you for stopping by. If you read this and the other blogs you will see why I really need to learn to edit myself better or find and editor that can help me.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
This Friday evening The Relevant Stage Theatre Company opens "Upton Sinclair's Singing Jailbirds, the Musical"!
BUY HERE and enter promotion code: SOLIDARITY.
Youths 18 and under
$5.00 ($6.12 w/service fee)
1/2 Price Special
$10.00 ($11.24 w/service fee) Remember “Solidarity”
$15.00 ($16.37 w/service fee)
$20.00 ($21.49 w/service fee)
$25.00 ($26.62 w/service fee)
Pick of the Vine is located directly across 6th Street from The Warner Grand Theater where the show is being performed.
Whale & Ale + Show
$40.00 ($41.99 w/service fee)
The Whale & Ale is a San Pedro favorite and carries fine food and drink.
6th Street Bistro
$40.00 ($41.99 w/service fee)
6th Street Bistro is located about one block east of the theater and offers great cuisine.
$120.00 ($123.99 w/service fee)
Will-Call Tickets - Free (Recommended!)
You will not receive a physical ticket, rather your name will appear on the list at the door of the event. You will need to provide your ID for admittance. "Will-call" offers the greatest flexibility for making changes to your order, and potentially allows the option for a full refund for up to 12 hours.
Physical Tickets - USPS Express Mail - $18.00
These tickets will be shipped within 1 business day and should arrive within 3 business days.
Where else can you find live theater performances that will entertain you for so few dollars?
You can plan a great evening of dining or wine tasting and then enjoy a show from the newest professional Theatre Company in the South Bay.