Travelogues to return in January

DOWNEY - The popular travel film series known as the Armchair Adventure Travelogue Series that delighted Downey residents for 30 years at the Downey Theatre is staging a comeback after a year's absence, at the City Council's behest.The series was dropped allegedly because of staffing and financial considerations. Former theater director Kevin O'Connor, who was regarded as the driving force behind the series, retired last year and city officials claimed its revenues could barely cover expenses. In fact, the situation has prompted a review of the entire theater operation and a subcommittee consisting of Councilmembers David Gafin and Roger Brossmer is studying ways on how to optimize its operations. As before, the travelogues will be shown on Sunday afternoons, with the first showing scheduled for Jan. 17, 2010. Three additional shows will fill out the rest of the 2009-10 fiscal year calendar, slated for Feb. 21, March 14 and April 25. To be featured are such titles as "St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Caribbean Jewels," "Ghost Towns of the West," and "Etched in Stone: Scotland to Provence." Community Services director Thad Phillips said he plans to shy away from repeats of old films, and show only new titles. "This is a bit more tricky to do, but future scheduling will depend on the availability of new travelogues," he said. "It's hard enough to compete with the Travel Channel." This time, there is a change of venue. The travelogues will be shown at the new state-of-the-art 250-seat Downey High School auditorium. While the rental fee at the Downey Theatre was $1,000 per showing, staff has been able to negotiate a fee reduction to $700 at Downey High, which also boasts handicapped access facilities, officials said. It is estimated that the proposed new ticket price of $10 per person will cover administrative and direct costs including ticket printing and associated promotional materials. More information about the series will be announced later.

********** Published: October 16, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 26