Tag Archives: Theatre

Fandango Movie Theatres Offer Cool Movies and Atmosphere at Valley Plaza Mall

20 May

One of the coolest things to do in Bakersfield when the weather heats up is to go to the movies. Fandango Theatre at Valley Plaza Mall is located at 2000 Wible Road, Bakersfield.  Offering 16 movie times and tickets daily, they show current blockbuster films all day long. The matinees are between 11:00 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., and are priced at $5.50 for all patrons. At 5:00 p.m. ticket prices change to $7.50 for adults, $7.00 for seniors and children. For more information go to www.fandango.com or call (661) 833-2230.

Fandango Movie Theatres offer cool family entertainment.

Fandango Movie Theatres offer cool family entertainment. Photo by: Wanda Winkler

You can grab a bite to eat while watching the movie. Candies, hot dogs, sodas, and of course, buckets of hot buttered popcorn are available in many sizes and prices, depending on your appetite.

Hot dogs, buttered popcorn, and sodas are delicious movie snacks.

Hot dogs, buttered popcorn, and sodas are delicious movie snacks. Photo by: Wanda Winkler

One of my favorite movies playing this weekend is Iron Man Three, 3D. It is the latest film in the trilogy and is full of adventure and famous stars like Robert Downing Jr., and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Iron Man Three in 3D is dynamite

Iron Man Three in 3D is dynamite. Photo by: Wanda Winkler

Opinions and Comments about the movie were mixed.

“I really liked the first Iron Man the best because it was original and started out fresh,” Cameron Denny, 18, said.

  “For me, Iron Man Three is the best one so far,” Jackie Morgan, 28 said. “I think Robert Downey Jr. is so cute, and I love to see him in action,” Morgan said. 

Other action packed movies playing this week include: “Star Trek into Darkness,” which comes in 3D, and “The Great Gatsby” also available in 3D, “Pain & Gain,” and “Peeples”. Many of the people that work at the theatre also get to watch the movies  that are playing.

Manny Evangelista, 21, loves his job at Fandango.

Manny Evangelista, 21, loves his job at Fandango. Photo by: Wanda Winkler


“I love my job at Fandango’s because we get good benefits, and nice discounts on our tickets. The people are very friendly and I like to greet them and help them with directions,” Evangelista, 21, said. He has only worked at the theatre for six months but he plans to stay there for a while.

You can also stay cool by walking through the air conditioned stores and restaurants next door to Fandango’s at The Valley Plaza Mall. Famous department stores offer excellent window shopping as you walk a mile or two just strolling the enclosed hallways. It is fun and the miles can add up by walking from one end of the mall to the other once or twice a week. There are no “mall walking fees,” so it might be more economical for people looking for inside walking with the added comfort of central air conditioning, to go to the mall. There is also disabled parking and bathrooms for wheelchair assisted persons. For more information go to: www.valleyplazamall.com or call: (661) 832-2436. Valley Plaza is located at 2701 Ming Avenue, Bakersfield.

Walk inside the air conditioned mall to stay cool.

Walk inside the air conditioned Valley Plaza mall to stay cool. Photo by: Wanda Winkler

For other great malls in your area go to: www.mallseeker.com. This site assists in finding malls and providing a list of stores that are located inside the mall.


Hotel California Pays Tribute to The Eagles

12 May
Family Fun When You Bring Your Refreshments

Family Fun Begins When You Bring Your Chairs and Refreshments

Hotel California Plays Tribute to The Eagles

Hotel California Pays Tribute to The Eagles

Hotel California’s Tribute to the Eagles is Family Entertainment

With the temperatures in the high 80s at 8 p.m., Bakersfield families enjoyed cooling-off with an outdoor concert at the Bright House Networks Amphitheater. Located at 11200 Stockdale Hwy., the amphitheater is unique. It is a gathering place for families to enjoy outdoor picnics while listening to a concert, sitting on the grass or bringing their own chairs. Adults are allowed to bring wine or beer, provided they check in with authorities and get the proper wristband permit. The amphitheater is located within walking distance of fine restaurants like P.F. Chang’s, California Pizza Kitchen, and Café Med. For more information on events call (661) 852-7777 or go to: www.bakersfieldamphitheatre.us.

Hotel California plays "Life in the Fast Lane"

Hotel California plays “Life in the Fast Lane”

The only problem with the concert is that several people thought The Eagles were really going to be playing and not a band named Hotel California. “I’ve never heard of a band named Hotel California,” Hermano Gonzales said as he left the park.  “I thought the Eagles were going to be playing,” Gonzales said. He indicated that the name of the band was not as clear as it could’ve been, although it was advertised as, “Hotel California gives tribute to the Eagles.” Most people stayed and enjoyed their evening regardless of the band’s name. “This is not the Eagles–only a salute,” Brian Carrici ,55, said. “I go to all of the shows in Bakersfield. The first show I ever saw was in 1971-72–The James Gang. In fact, Rare Earth will be playing June 8 here at the Amphitheatre and I intend to go to that concert as well,” Carrici said.

Hotel California is a band's name and they pay tribute to The Eagles.

Hotel California is a band’s name and they pay tribute to The Eagles.

Other events coming this summer include:

Martina McBride-June 28

Air Supply-June 29

Summerland Tour-June 30

For more details go to www.ticketmaster.com

or like Bright House Amphitheatre on www.facebook.com/Bright-House-Network-Amphitheatre

Bakersfield’s Starting Three

29 Apr

Some people enjoy thunderstorms, some people enjoy sporting events, and then some people enjoy Theatre.  Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or Sondheim, Bakersfield’s theatre scene has something to offer everyone.  For some, the idea of having to sit through a play that may range anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 1/2 hours may seem just dreadful, but as for me, going to see a play is always quite the treat.

First up, we have the Empty Space. This theatre has been open since 2003, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching three different shows here. The first show I saw here was The Diary of Anne Frank. Don’t get me wrong, I had seen live shows before, but none quite so special as this one.  Being that this was my first trip to The Empty Space, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the Theatre staff are very friendly and welcoming, which compliments the intimate setting of the Theatre as well.  There is no charge for admission, but suggested donations are $10 for students and $15 for the general public.  Plays run back to back here so there’s always something showing or coming up.

Located at 706 Oak St Bakersfield, CA 93304

Next, we have the Spotlight Theatre. This theatre opened its doors in 1999, and is currently closed for renovation, but once  they’re back in business, I would definitely recommend going to see a show here. Personally, I’ve only had the chance to see one show here, Real Women Have Curves, but once their doors are open again, I will definitely be making my way back to Spotlight for another show or two.

Located at 1622 19th St Bakersfield, CA 93301

Stars Theatre Restaurant and Bakersfield Music Theatre have been around since 1969. Their mission is to produce quality musical theatre primarily with local talent through three venues: Stars Theatre Restaurant, Harvey Auditorium and BMT School of the Performing Arts.  I haven’t had the chance to see a show here yet, but I’ve heard great reviews from my peers!

Located at 1931 Chester Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93301

Power Rankings: Bakersfield’s top movie theaters

29 Apr

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re bored and on a budget just like me. So how do you stay in town and have a good time? For starters, you can see a movie.

Want to see a movie right now? Check out movie times, even buy tickets here: http://www.fandango.com/bakersfield_ca_movietimes

When it comes to watching a movie in Bakersfield, there are really only three options. I’ll rank them for you right now.

If you want to see a movie in Bakersfield, go here. Just look at it. (Photo from bluefier.com)

If you want to see a movie in Bakersfield, go to Edwards. Just look at it, Greek gods could live here. (Photo from bluefier.com)

  1. Edwards Cinema (9000 Ming Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93311 Phone: [661] 663-3042): If there’s any place to be when you’re in the mood for a movie, it’s here. For starters, it’s a sight to see on the inside. It’s clean, and there’s an awesome bathroom upstairs if you’re willing to make the 30-second trek. On the outside, it’s just as good. The Edwards Cinema is located in the Marketplace, the biggest social hub in town. It’s in a nice part of town and there’s all kinds of food everywhere, which is always a plus. The only down side to this location is that on Friday nights, the place is crawling with eighth graders.
  2. Reading Cinemas (2000 Wible Road, Bakersfield, CA 93304 Phone: [661] 833-2230): This places second on my list just because it’s better than what’s next. I like this one because it’s close to the mall, just in case you want to spend a lot of money when you’re done with your movie. Good luck finding a parking spot in the same time zone, though.
  3. Maya Cinemas (1000 California Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93304 [661] 636-0484): This place is nice and spacious on the inside, complete with the best arcade selection on the list. If you’re going to see a movie here, go in an armored car… or a tank. Your movie-watching experience would be untouched as far as your satisfaction is concerned. That is, until you go outside. The Maya isn’t exactly in the best part of town, and is known for the robberies that go on in it’s parking lots.

These are my top three movie theaters here in town. However, there are two more that need mentioning: The Dollar Theater and Regency Theaters at the East Hills Mall. These are great if you’re feeling adventurous and brave or you want to shake off a terrible date.

Here’s the link to buy tickets at Edwards: http://www.fandango.com/edwardsbakersfieldstadium14_aaede/theaterpage

The Empty Space Theatre Steals the Show with their Rendition of the off-Broadway Hit “Crimes of the Heart”

20 Apr

“The Empty Space 10 Year Celebration” courtesy of http://www.esonline.org/

The Empty Space Theater is still going strong as their 10th season in Bakersfield is in full swing. Well known for its fearlessness and bold show choices like Tony Kushner’s  “Angels in America.” This time  The Empty Space Theatre is setting their sights on the off-Broadway hit “Crimes of the Heart” written by Beth Henley and Directed by Bob Kempf.

“We have six months seasons and based on what people present to me and I what want to do, in this case “Crimes of the Heart,”  it felt like it would just be a good fit. The talent we have here, especially the female talent. The four parts we had for women in this show, I knew they were the people to do it at this time,” said Kempf. “I enjoy plays that are written by southern playwrights. They feel things deeper, emotions are bigger.”


Doc (played by Brian J. Sivesind) and Meg (played by Cody Ganger) realizing the time they have lost and the love they still have for each other. Photo by Casey Webb.

There certainly were no small roles in this performance. The three main actresses, Amy hall (playing Lenny), Cody Ganger(playing Meg), and Ellie Siversind (playing Babe) performed as the Magrath sisters and had excellent chemistry on stage. Their character’s portrayal of depth and longing for the betterment of their lives was only match by their regret and scars from their traumatic past.  Jennifer Maddern (playing the sisters cousin Chick Boyle) was wonderful in her role as the passive aggressive socialite, always trying to either distance herself from her family or control them with shame and guilt.

A very poignant  scene between  the characters Doc Porter (played by Brian J. Sivesind)  and Meg Magrath  involving a scorned and discarded love, rekindled by Meg returning to her old home to deal with a family emergency and finding Doc still living in town with a wife and two children.  Finally,  Matthew Borton (playing the role of Barnett Lloyd), conveying the struggle of his characters desire to finally exact  revenge on the man who destroyed his father’s  lively hood or to save Babe from going to prison and in do so, giving up his only leverage to redeem his family’s honor.

The play has all the hallmarks of a southern tragedy, full of manic highs and soul crushing lows. The question remains, will these characters forgive themselves and each other or will they fall victim to the crimes of the heart?

The Empty Space Theatre  is located at 706 Oak St.

Dates for the performance:

April 12, 13, 19, 20, 26  27 at 8pm

April 21 @ 2pm

A Diamond in the Dust…

14 Apr

Bakersfield Sign Photo taken by Nick Chapman

If someone described to you what Bakersfield has to offer, like theater, classic orchestras, entertainers like Elton John and James Taylor performing live in concert, local artists performing music and art, and modern cuisine. People would not believe it was Bakersfield but rather some other major metropolis area.  In California, there exists a common attitude that Bakersfield is just an oil town. Devoid of any real experience of art, culture, or entertainment.  However, after living here for over ten years I can say that this mindset is not absolutely true. There is life here in Bakersfield, not just people living but a infusion of artistic and cultural awakening. This movement is not only expressed by artists and groups passing through Bakersfield but by the citizens themselves.


The Rabobank Arena.
Photo provided by the Marriot hotel.

The venues here in Bakersfield  are putting on great performances. Major locations like the Fox Theater and Rabobank Arena continue to bring  great talent to Bakersfield. While local theaters like The Empty SpaceBakersfield Community Theater, and Spotlight Theater bring many local artist to the stage and gallery. There are museums and zoos, fairs and concerts, and everything in between.


The Fox Theater Photo taken by Bobak Ha’Eri July 26 2009

The dilemma Bakersfield faces  today is that it desires to be both current and cultured as it duels with the equally passionate effort to remain the quiet conservative town it once was.

Bakersfield’s reputation as being one of the top 10 conservative cities in America, with a strong christian base lends people to believe that this city remains unmoved by currents trend in culture.  Yet, there is an undercurrent of nightlife, contemporary art, classical music, ballet, live bans, and sporting events, all bubbling up to the surface.

Bakersfield has over 350,000 residents now and has had a  41% jump in growth since the last decade. This created a more diverse society which grew the desire for a wider preference of the kinds of entertainment the city has to offer.  Bakersfield’s fun and creative side may not be the first thing people think about this city. But if you can wipe the dust away and if you know where to look, you will realize what a diamond it can truly be.

Bakersfield Culture Sizzles as Art and Theatre Celebrate 10 years at “The Empty Space”

14 Apr
"Kreative Allusions," by John Kirkeby

“Kreative Allusions,” by John Kirkeby-photo by Wanda Winkler

Bakersfield Culture Sizzles as The Empty Space Art Gallery/Theatre Celebrates Ten Years The Empty Space theatre and art gallery, located at 706 Oak St., is a cultural icon in Bakersfield. It is celebrating it’s tenth anniversary with an exhibit from John Kirkeby called, “Kreative Allusions” and a play called, “Crimes of the Heart,” written by Beth Henley and directed by Bob Kempf. Gallery director, Jesus Fidel, 30, prides the theatre/gallery as beng, “the only totally nonprofit, donation based theatre/gallery in the U.S. run by 20 volunteers 365 days a year,” said Fidel. Each month a different artist is featured in the art gallery and a different play is presented to the public. The plays are usually locally written or off-Broadway shows, with suggested donations of $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors per theatre show. Visiting the gallery exhibit is free and delicious snacks, coffee and wine is available. While the artist reception hours are between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends, the plays take place in the evenings on weekends. For a schedule of this month’s showings and future events go to www.esonline.org. John Kirkeby, retired from Xerox ten years ago, now has more time to be creative. He is celebrating his second showing at The Empty Space. “I really like the casual atmosphere at this gallery. For my first exhibit I was really nervous and brought 41 paintings and sold only a few. This year I have 21 paintings and they are selling very well,” said Kirkeby. He also has many prints of his artwork to choose from for sale at the gallery. If you are artistic and would like to exhibit your work to the public you can contact Michelle Guerrero, 35, the marketing director at (661) 327-7529. Both Guerrero and Fidel have been with The Empty Space for three years and are always available to answer any questions. If you love art you can also go to the Bakersfield Museum of Art website, www.bmoa.org for more information on  Bakersfield’s hidden art treasures.