Welcome to the Sunrise Spirit –
the Weekly Newsletter of The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise
Our Next Meeting:
On Friday, February 17th, we will hold a Club Assembly. Come get to know how a Rotary Club works (we hope).
RISE Calendar … “Rotary Involvement Strengthens Everyone“
February 17 – Mardi Gras For A Cause – The Rotary Club of Eureka event at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka
February 18 – Charter Night at Baywood! It’s the Silver Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise, and tickets are only $25 per person!!
February 25 – Arcata Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet – 5:30 to 9 pm (RCAS is up for an award!)
March 4 – AHS College & Career Center’s Annual Pancake Breakfast – 8 to 11 am at Arcata High School.
March 11 – The RCAS Spring Fundraiser! An elegant dinner with a “Phantom of the Opera” theme.
May 12-14 – The District 5130 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort in Incline Village, Nevada
Rotary Friendship Exchange: Steve McHaney and his wife Patty participated in our District’s Friendship Exchange with District 3060 in India. The contingent from our District visited the state of Gujarat, where they were hosted by local Rotarians. The group was able to participate in a National Polio Immunization Day. Steve said that some of the kids who were getting the medicine were a bit reluctant: “Some of them screamed and yelled,” he said, but the effort was a great success.
Steve said that many of us have preconceptions about India – we may think about the poverty, the pollution, the traffic. He said that all of that is true. “But what you don’t see,” he said, is the warmth of the people. “I experienced hospitality in a way that I have never experienced it in my entire life,” Steve continued. He said that several times, he saw signs bearing the expression, “Guests are like gods”. He and Patty stayed with six families, and all were very welcoming and helpful.
“It was a wonderful experience,” Steve said. “It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure, but if you ever get a chance to on an RFE, and you are willing to be flexible – go with the flow – it’s a really good experience.” Steve and Patty plan to provide a full program on the trip before the Rotarians from India visit our District in May.
Dictionary Distributions: Sunrisers descended on three local elementary schools last week, bringing dictionaries for the third grade students. As it is each year, it was great fun – for both the students and for the members of our Club who participated.
College & Career Center Breakfast: Jeff Stebbins told us that it’s not too late to add your business’s name to the list of sponsors of the AHS College and Career Center Pancake Breakfast, which will be held at Arcata High on Saturday, March 4th. Please be sure to attend, and bring along your friends and family!
Spring Fundraiser: We have 11 tables sold for the Spring Fundraiser, so we have 29 left to sell (with less than a month to go)! A table for ten is $750, and an eight-person table is $600. Table sponsors can also order a private waiter for only $150 more, and there will be perks to make the upgrade worthwhile. Individuals are welcome also, at $75 per person. Please be sure that your colleagues and friends know about this great opportunity.
Restoring the Historic Eureka Theater
Our Featured Speaker was Sunriser Tom Tellez. In addition to being a dedicated Sunriser, Tom has been on Eureka Concert and Film Center’s Board of Directors, for the past two years, and he is currently serving as the organization’s Vice-President. That is the group that owns and is restoring the Eureka Theater. Tom became involved when his business, Wallace and Hinz, was approached to build a bar as part of the restoration process. He was soon hooked, and he became an important part of the group. He provided an update of the ongoing restoration of the historic venue.The theater was built in 1939 by George Mann, who owned many movie theaters in California and Oregon. Although Mann initially designed the theater as the centerpiece of a complex that would include a five-story hotel, banquet rooms, apartments, a restaurant, and more, the project was scaled down considerably. However, the theater as constructed is a beautiful example of the Art Moderne style, also known as Streamline Moderne. For many years, the theater was very successful. It often filled its 1,200 seats, especially for premieres. But over time, filling those seats became increasingly difficult.
In 1978, the owners decided to follow a trend of the times, and they converted the theater into a triplex. The balcony was split in two, with a smaller theater on each side, while the main floor made up the largest of the three areas. The move helped the theater stay afloat for almost two more decades, but in 1996, the Eureka Theater stopped showing regularly scheduled movies.
In 1999, the building was purchased by Rob Arkley, who initially planned to restore it and turn it into a cinema and performing arts center. However, soon after the purchase was completed, the Daly Department Store Building – originally the Sweasey Theatre – became available, and Arkley purchased that. Rob decided that he would focus on the Sweasey, which he eventually developed into the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts. Rob donated the Eureka Theater to the Eureka Concert and Film Center.
The restoration was soon underway. As funds permit, new (and old) equipment is acquired, and the process continues. As Tom puts it, the restoration is proceeding “little by little”. He describes the ECFC as “an interesting group”. They pore over old photos to ensure that they are addressing the smallest details in the restoration process. That doesn’t mean that they are not making changes. Tom was once asked why they were building a bar, since that was clearly not part of the original design. But he said that the theater has to attract patrons to survive and to ultimately thrive. All changes are carefully thought out before execution.
Tom encouraged us to attend one of the organization’s fundraisers. Each month, they offer a “Fourth Friday Flix”. On Friday, February 24th, they will feature “Blade Runner: The Final Cut”. And I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you offered to roll up your sleeves and take part in the restoration effort!
Editor’s Note: Ordinarily, I would have edited Tom’s photo to remove the “red eye” effect, but I left it in mostly because, with that pose, he looks like he’s auditioning for “The Phantom of the Opera”!