Hollywood Celebrities Lend a Helping Hand In Efforts To Save The Historic Hemet Theater

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The Valley View Foundation and the Historic Hemet Theater declares a success¸ as a small and passionate community in Southern California comes together to celebrate with a roaring ‘20s themed Gala event that proves to be a success - as the show went on!

Hollywood celebrities Patrika Darbo and Kimmy Robertson Visting Hemet, CA and Dattilo's Italian Restaurant

What is lacking with the youth today is imagination, local community theater offers and encourages that" says actress/producer/director Patrika Darbo.

The Valley View Foundation and the Historic Hemet Theater Committee in the small town of Hemet, California hosted a black tie gala night at the Historic Hemet Theater on Saturday evening, March 31st. The special occasion, officially dubbed, The Show Must Go On was unanimously voted a huge success by everyone attending, and the phones began ringing early Sunday morning with donations ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.

The Theater was full to the rafters with local dignitaries and Hemet residents to see a show produced by Alexander Yepremian, of Broadway and the London stage, that included local talent in scenes from Broadway shows, a classical quartet, a jazz segment, an 11-piece orchestra, a montage of the best movie scenes over the past century and filmed interviews with local residents who reminisced about their visits to the theatre in their youth.

Hollywood Celebrities Patrika Darbo (“Days of our Lives”, Midnight In The Garden of Good & Evil, Mickey Matson) and Kimmy Robertson (“Twin Peaks”, Beauty & The Beast, Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead) were honored guests and also each sponsored a seat in the theatre at a cost of $1,921, the year of the original opening of the Theater, and 10 additional seats have since been sponsored. Ms. Darbo spoke about the need for local theaters to be preserved for the community and for young people of the area, “What is lacking with the youth today is imagination, local community theater offers and encourages that.” Darbo has offered her support for the Hemet Theater in the future. Kimmy Robertson was amazed at the community of Hemet itself, and everyone who showed up to show their support, “Hemet is the happiest little town I've been to in a long time. There was a palpable serenity there, and Prince Charming lives there too!” gleamed Robertson.

Also in attendance was Eric Root, longstanding business owner in Hemet and hair stylist to the Stars. Mr. Root pledged an original Erte to be sold at auction with all proceeds going to benefit the Theater, and additional movie and theatre items will also be auctioned.

The Hemet Theater, which had been in disrepair for years, was transformed by a team of local residents, headed by Patricia Yepremian and Krystyne Gray, Theater Committee Chairs, into a lush, elegant venue for the night. Sharon Deuber, President of the Valley View Foundation is spearheading the escrow to raise enough money to purchase the Theater from the current owner, and the success of this evening has gone a long way towards that aim.

Once purchased, it will become Hemet’s only performing arts centre for local talent and visiting artists, mounting various plays, musicals, films, jazz and classical concerts.

A shortened version of the Gala performance will be produced on a Monday evening in the near future for the local Hemet residents, to allow them to see what the future has to offer and also to make donations towards the restoration of the Theater. Andrew Yepremian, the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Theater, already has several ideas for future productions, and the 2012 Voice of the Valley contest Grand Finale will be held there on Saturday, June 9th.

About The Historic Hemet Theatre
Located at the Heart of the Downtown of Hemet, California, the Historic Hemet Theater, once named the oldest continually run theater in the nation, has become a major project for the Valley View Foundation. Working hand-in-hand with community leaders and volunteers, and with the help of generous donations, the Save Our Theater Campaign will be a successful endeavor that will fully restore the iconic Hemet Theater for the Hemet and San Jacinto communities.

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Howie Simon

Alexander Yepremian
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