Riviera Theatre shows "Dolores" documentary before grand opening

"Dolores" runs through Thursday

SBIFF showcases "Dolores" documentary at newly renovated Rivera Theatre

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Roger Durling welcomed movie fans back to the newly renovated Riviera Theatre on Friday night.

Durling showed them the 52 speakers and talked about the new viewing experience called Dolby Vision.

"There are only 26 in the country that have this system, Dolby Vision, we are number 26 and the only nonprofit that has this system," said Durling.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Executive Director joined them to see the documentary "Dolores" about labor leader Dolores Huerta.

"Dolores Huerta is one of the most important figures in labor law. I think it is such a timely story about having to deal with immigration, you know California, she is a very important figure, it is time she gets the recognition that she deserves," said Durling.

Gary Heinemann brought his kids.

"We wanted to have the kids see Dolores and see what she went through, said Heinemann."

He said he noticed the improvements including the renovated lanterns and comfortable seats.

"I came here years ago. It looks great. I'm glad they kept the Rs on the lanterns. They kept it looking like it did when I used to come here more often," said Heinemann.

The theatre is in the home stretch of a 5 million dollars fundraising drive with naming opportunities on those lanterns and chairs.

The theatre name is already taken.

It's called Lynda & Bruce's Riviera Theatre after the founder of Lynda.com and her husband.

Leighton Smith said the theatre smelled like popcorn and fun.

The new concession stand has plenty of popcorn and snacks for sale.

"Dolores" runs through Thursday.

It will be followed the grand opening Sept. 29 during the opening of the Wave Festival featuring 11 news French films.

The late philanthropist and owner Michael Towbes helped SBIFF negotiated a 30 year lease.

"There is bitter sweetness just thinking about Michael Towbes, this building was really important for him and he was instrumental in making this happen and the fact that he didn't see the fruit of his labor is bittersweet,' said Durling.

It is now a cultural hub for films, seven days a week.

For ticket information click here.



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