With One of the most hardest places hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City, has announced a plan to reopen their theaters in a 25% limited capacity. According to an article by Variety, the plan will go into effect on March 5th. While this is indeed good news for the movie industry, in terms of something going in the right direction for a return for normalcy, it is still far from what is needed for smaller theaters looking to reopen.
Right here on the Central Coast, theaters remain closed and shut. Some Regal theaters are present along the Central Coast, but AMC, the nation's largest theater chain, is not. This leaves all other theaters in the area left to the small and independent business owners, who do not have the financial stability of the large chains. Some theaters have been trying to find creative solutions, such as Park Cinema Theaters in Paso Robles. Even the Parks Plaza Theatre, a site for many Central Coast Film Society events and only theater in the entire Santa Ynez Valley, has quietly put a "For Sale" sign out on the curb in front of the words "We Will Be Back" in their marquee.
Another theater has garnished the support of local elected leaders in Atascadero. Reports show support for the Galaxy Theater's came as the property owner announced they may have to put the property in foreclosure. “Over the past year, too many local businesses have been forced to permanently shut their doors — resulting in unprecedented job loss on the Central Coast,” Said state Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham. “With new programs available to small businesses, I join my colleagues by imploring the bank to halt foreclosures and give businesses who have been able to survive this long a chance at a California small business grant.”
However, with New York City looking at reopening, even in a very limited capacity, all eyes now are focused on the Los Angeles theaters to see if they reopen. Odds are theaters will begin gaining momentum to reopen when that happens with the proper Cinema Safe protocols. Regal has a video featuring Dr. David F. Goldsmith who speaks to how theaters will reopen safely. Most, if not all theaters, will be following the same protocols when reopening finally does happen.
So it looks like we have all been spending some quality time inside for our own good lately. Lots of people are now caught up on films and television shows they’ve been wanting to see, but what do you do when you have finished your list? Why not revisit some classic films with ties to right here on the Central Coast?
So we, here at the Central Coast Film Society, have put together a Top 10 list of things to watch while sheltering at home. And every one of them has a strong Central Coast connection. Here’s what you might want to dust off and enjoy.
10) Little Giants - Arroyo Grande
In the small village of Arroyo Grande came the feel good film with Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neil. They play brothers living in Urbania, Ohio. Only, it’s actually Arroyo Grande. Watch as the misfit team lead by Moranis train to go up against the big team. A perfect small town, home-grown family comedy.
9) Spartacus - San Simeon
At 190 minutes long, Spartacus is the type of movie to watch to make an event out of it, or when you’re stuck at home all day. Which makes pausing for bathroom breaks a little easier. This classic movie, with Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier and directed by Stanley Kubrick, will have you transported back to the glory days of Rome by stopping at Hearst Castle as a backdrop.
8) The Spirit of St. Louis - Santa Maria
Billy Wilder’s production staring James Stewart was filmed all over the world following the story of Charles Lindbergh and his monumental flight from New York to Paris. However, in this movie, they were flying out of Allan Hancock Air Field (now site of Allan Hancock College) in Santa Maria. The film was released in 1957 and only a couple years later the airport closed as the US-101 was rerouted to it’s current location.
7) Pete’s Dragon - Point Buchon
This classic Disney film was set in Passamaquoddy, Maine but was filmed on this coast! The lighthouse seen in the film was built near Montana De Oro State Park, on Point Buchon, with special permission by the Coast Guard. You can still hike to that location, but you won’t find a lighthouse anymore. It was quickly dismantled after production to not confuse passing ships.
6) Of Mice And Men - Santa Ynez Valley
Directed and staring Gary Sinise, this film was filmed extensively in the Santa Ynez Valley. This classic John Steinbeck novel is a heavy drama was praised by critics but didn’t do that well in the box office. The 1939 version of the story was filmed a little further north in San Luis Obispo and the Hearst Ranch.
5) Outbreak - Santa Ynez Valley
What is a pandemic without watching a movie like this? With it’s huge ensemble cast, most of the movie takes place in Northern California. But watch carefully when Dustin Hoffman and Cuba Gooding Jr. are in a helicopter trying to divert an Air Force plane (that flew out from Vandenberg AFB). You can see they’re flying over the Santa Ynez Mountain Range.
4) The Rocketeer - Santa Maria
Walt Disney got their toes wet in comic book superhero films with The Rocketeer in 1991. Much of the film’s non-Los Angeles locations were shot at the Santa Maria Airport and surrounding areas. The film was well received, but plans for sequels were scrapped after the movie only performed “modestly” at the box office. Director Joe Johnston would go on to make another comic book film: Captain America: The First Avenger.
3) Batman: The Movie - Santa Barbara
Bam! Pow! Batman’s first big screen appearance showed the caped crusader running along Stern’s Wharf in Santa Barbara looking for the villain’s secret lair. While most everyone enjoys all the various and recent versions of Gotham City, it might be time to go revisit what started all the fun with this campy and fun movie.
2) Scarface - Santa Barbara
Al Pacino’s Tony Montana is a story that Walter White could only dream of. In the carnage infused climax at Tony’s Miami mansion, you may recognize that it’s actually in Santa Barbara. The scene also seems to have inspired part of the Harold Ramis comedy, Bedazzled with Brendan Fraser that had an action-packed drug lord compound scene that was also filmed in Santa Barbara.
1) HBO’s John Adams - Santa Maria
Yes, this isn’t a movie, but this Golden Globe winning series is a masterpiece from HBO and perfect to binge at home as we head into Memorial Day and Independence Day on an election year. Earlier this year was the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre, which is depicted in the opening parts of this series. It follows Paul Giamatti as John Adams in a remarkable telling of the man’s life. What you may not know is a good portion of the visual effects were done in Santa Maria by CafeFX, also known for doing effects in movies like Pan’s Labyrinth or The Mist.
BUT WAIT... there's one more.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Touch of Satan - Santa Ynez Valley
Alright, this one is so special it needs it’s own category. Ever see movies that are so bad they’re funny? Well, that’s what Mystery Science Theater 3000 does all the time. You can binge bad movies until the cows come home, but if you want something with a local backdrop then watch this beauty. Filmed in 1971 Santa Ynez Valley, this horror film is worthy of the bad jokes that two robots and a trapped spaceman fire at it.
So if you've been inside for a really long time and feeling a little stir crazy, this may help fix your brain. You can actually watch Season 10, Episode 8 of the show online for free right now. Take a look below!
At the July 25th, 2019 Buellton City Council meeting, CCFS Board President, and Buellton resident, Raiza Giorgi, presented to the Council a request for a grant. Because CCFS' nonprofit status came in after their initial deadline for grants for 2019, the Council agreed to hear the presentation as requested by CCFS Executive Director Daniel Lahr on June 27th, 2019.
The Council was told about the CCFS' plans for the Central Coast Film Society, including family screenings, student seminars/lectures and even the Central Coast Film Festival, coming in October of 2020 to the City of Buellton. The request was for the grant was for $5,750 for audio and visual equipment to help CCFS be able to expand their screening program in a wider variety of venue locations.
In a surprise direction, it was with unanimous consent of the council to "bump it up to $6,000 to give them some wiggle room," said Councilman David King. He went on to add, "Buellton will benefit from it... I think it's public dollars well spent." Mayor Holly Sierra said, "We have had a request from our community to bring arts and culture to Buellton... and I'm for it too."
"We are so thrilled and honored to receive this grant from the City of Buellton." says Daniel Lahr, CCFS Executive Director & Founder. "The Council's vote of confidence in our organization and programs is incredibly heart warming and it will only help us continue to grow. We now shoulder the responsibility of delivering on this opportunity and to do the best events we can to further our mission of celebrating cinema on the Central Coast."
CCFS has held numerous screenings in the recent past in Buellton, including several at the local Parks Plaza Theater. This location will also be a primary location for the upcoming Central Coast Film Festival. "The entire Santa Ynez Valley community will benefit from this and we can't wait to put on more screenings in Buellton soon!" Lahr said.
There are few fandoms in film and television that rival the passion and sheer numbers of the group of super-fans, affectionately known as "Trekkies." Well, it looks like Star Trek is going to "boldly go" to the Santa Ynez Valley.
Today, at San Diego Comic-Con, the Star Trek panel released a load of new information about CBS' new show, Star Trek: Picard. Along with images, and panel discussion from the stars of the show, we were treated with a new trailer of the show. Many Star Trek: The Next Generation fans began swooning as they saw the beloved character, Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, along with a large amount of favorites from that "generation." From what is gathered, the character Jean-Luc Picard, which has not been seen on the silver screen since 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis or on the small screen of Enterprise in 2005, and has since retired from the Starfleet, taking time to make Bourgogne wine at "Chateau Picard" in his native country of France.
Funny how his amazingly fictitious futuristic french villa and vineyard look in no way like Sunstone Winery in the beautiful Santa Ynez Winery today. Actually, they're one and the same. The Sunstone Villa can be seen in the opening shots of the newly released trailer and also makes an appearance in the recently released poster. It also appears later in the trailer where Picard makes contact with someone who will be bringing him (assumingely) back into the thick of it in outer space.
Production on Star Trek: Picard started on April 29, 2019 under the working title, Drawing Room and is expected to continue through October 1, 2019. The show is set to air on CBS early 2020, which is the same year that the Central Coast Film Society will be premiering the Central Coast Film Festival in Santa Ynez Valley.
Are you excited for Star Trek: Picard? Ready to visit Sunstone Winery inSanta Ynez Valley? Can you spot Sunstone in the poster? Leave a comment below after watching the trailer for yourself!
Star Trek: Picard filming location at Sunstone Winery.
Today marks a milestone for the Central Coast Film Society. It is the one year anniversary of our bylaws adoption and the official formation of our Board of Directors. These individuals have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help craft and shape this organization. Steering this organization on the mission as stated below:
The specific objectives, purpose and mission of the Central Coast Film Society shall be:
a. To celebrate cinema and promote media arts and entertainment on California’s Central Coast.
And by doing so, the Society shall:
a. Provide educational lectures, seminars and/or other platforms for Central Coast filmmakers and students.
b. Sponsor, host and/or participate in forums and/or screenings of films that have an impact on the Central Coast’s Community and Culture that may include:
i. Central Coast Film Festival
ii. Central Coast Film Society Screenings
One thing you may have noticed in the "by doing so" section, there is something listed as the "Central Coast Film Festival." Even a year ago, official discussions were held about this event and now, we are ready to share the dates and location! Drum roll...
Central Coast Film Festival
Friday, October 4 - Sunday, October 6, 2020
Santa Ynez Valley, California
So now we've got a little more than a year to go until the biggest event yet!!
We are all beyond thrilled to begin the task of putting on a full fledged film festival, and as we've been preparing for the past year, we still know what a daunting task we have before the curtain rises on the inaugural Central Coast Film Festival in 2020. We are also beyond excited about the slate of CCFS Events that will be coming out before we even get to the Central Coast Film Festival. Many of those details will be coming soon!
Many of the festival's details, rules and call for entries will be revealed later this summer. But of course, it will be a place for filmmakers (local, professional and students) to come together and celebrate cinema together!
Your support is absolutely what is helping us get to this point. In less than a year on Facebook, we are now at more than 1,300 followers. We have also held 5 screenings, two Q&As, mentorships and an Oscar party! All of the memberships, ticket prices and donations help us in so many ways. So please continue to give to help our dream reach so many more! Donating is easy and can be done by clicking at the bottom of this page, or on Facebook. Or even consider purchasing a membership or becoming a company sponsor!
We all can get behind celebrating cinema.
I'm Daniel Lahr and I'm the Executive Director and Founder of the Central Coast Film Society. We're going to begin having a regular blog going on here where I'll be sharing my feelings on local events, news and movie events (ie. movie reviews)!
I hope you all enjoy and get to know us a little bit better as we continue to grow. This will also be a place where I'll share all of my recaps of events we have, give special thanks to people who help us out along the way, and maybe share some news here first with you!
That being said, the summer blockbuster movie season is just getting started this week with the arrival of Avengers: Endgame. I'll be seeing it on Thursday night and I couldn't be more excited! So I will follow up with our first review. That being said... there's many, many more movies coming out this year. What would you like to see me review?