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Plaza Playhouse Theater Set for 86th Birthday Party in Carpinteria

Casablanca will highlight the evening

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Carpinteria's Plaza Playhouse Theater is celebrating its 86th year with a party and classic film Saturday night.

A reception takes place at 5:30 p.m. followed by Casablanca at 7.

Proceeds will go towards the purchase of a new 20 foot by 12 foot screen to allow the theater to show all film formats.

The Plaza Playhouse is operated by a non-profit organization these days after being operated privately for years.

The theater has been run continuously since April 27, 1928 according to Peter Bie, film coordinator.   He says it is the oldest theater, that's been in operation on a regular schedule between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The pre-movie event will have food from Jack's Bagels, and  "a mixologist is coming in just for this event from Bainbridge, Washington, and Bainbridge gin will be served because as Bogey said in the movie, 'of all the gin joints, in all the world,  she had to walk into mine'", said Bie.

The fundraising effort by the theater staff will go right back into the building upgrades.

"We've raised about $8,000 towards the $20,000 cost of that screen so we are hoping for some additional funding coming in from the anniversary party,"said Bie.

In addition to movies, the theater hosts comedy, plays and live music on a regular basis.  Musicians tell the staff the 200 seat house is very unique. "They love the accoustics here," said Bie.  "We are the best kept secret."

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