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DAVID PARDO, HESPERIA STAR
PLUSH VIEWING: Hesperia Mayor Bill Holland, above, addresses the crowd during the grand opening ceremony of Cinema West's new Civic Plaza 12 theater on Wednesday evening. The 12-screen theater features two 60-foot-wide screens, reserved seating and is in the process of opening a cafe that will serve beer and wine.

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Hesperia unveils new movie theater

Venue features two 60-foot-wide screens — some of the largest in California

HESPERIA • As search lights lit up the night sky, the city of Hesperia literally rolled out the red carpet during a special "Wrap Party" at the new Civic Plaza 12 theater Wednesday night.

As city, community and regional leaders cut the ribbon in the theater’s spacious lobby; attendees at the VIP event ate popcorn and hors d’oeuvres, and snapped photos.

“We’re very excited that Cinema West selected Hesperia for the 12-screen theater,” City Manager Mike Podegracz said as he greeted visitors. “They were looking for a place and we had the perfect location for them right behind City Hall.”

Earlier in the evening, nearly 200 guests filled one theater as Zachary Tillman, 17, led the Summit Leadership Academy Honor Guard in the presentation of the colors.

Wearing a tuxedo, Steve Lantsberger, the city’s director of economic development, thanked everyone associated with the project, which broke ground in September 2011.

“We’ve had our ups and downs along the way, but Dave and Karen Corkill’s fortitude and determination is a true testament to what they brought to the city,” Lantsberger said.

Mayor Bill Holland was all smiles as he explained how the 37,000-square-foot movie theater, which brought 40 new jobs to the area, was part of the city’s downtown plan.

“All I can really say is wow,” Holland said. “This is a beautiful theater, and I’m excited to see where we go from here.”

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, whose office is across the street from the theater, said he’ll be tempted to sneak out of work to take advantage of the movie and a dinner option.

“Some people say government is bad, but this is what happens when government and private business partner together,” said Donnelly, whose favorite movies are The Patriot and Braveheart. “What a great move for everyone involved.”

The theater offers digital projection and sound, D-Box Motion Seating and two 60-footwide screens, some of the largest screens in California.

“We are excited about being in Hesperia, and we’re looking to offer movie-goers a wonderful experience,” theater manager Nelson Solorzano, said.

“The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey” will christen the new theater, as fans of the Peter Jackson movie, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel, will line up tonight for the midnight showing.

Reserved seating is available and the theater is working on opening a cafe that will serve beer and wine.

The theater will be the first Southern California venture for Cinema West, a Petaluma-based company, which operates 11 other theaters in Northern California and Idaho.

The new theater at 9711 Ninth Ave. is directly behind City Hall.

For show times call (760) 956-7469, or call (707)762-0990 for general information.

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.


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