Screens Go Dark at Glendale’s Movie Theaters

Photo courtesy Scott Lowe
In March, a year after the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic, the Pacific Theatres marquee in the Americana at Brand still advertised the new releases of early 2020. They’re now the Pacific’s last showings — the company folded this week, the latest economic casualty of the pandemic.

Glendale will be without its two big-name movie theaters as Los Angeles County continues to pull back on its pandemic restrictions, after Pacific Theatres pulled the plug on its namesake brand and its premium ArcLight Cinemas brand this week.
The Los Angeles-based theater chain became the latest economic casualty of the coronavirus pandemic and made real the fears that the movie theater industry would contract as a result of the emergency restrictions. Those restrictions often ceded little, if any, ground to theaters, even while other parts of society slowly reopened.
Studio Movie Grill also filed for bankruptcy protection this year, and although the chain has not yet folded, it did close some of its Southern California locations — including the Glendale location that launched in 2019, months before the pandemic locked its doors. Outside of the Laemmle, which typically presents indie or arthouse films, downtown Glendale will have a void in terms of mainstream anchor movie theaters. (Representatives with Laemmle could not be reached for comment; the chain began gradually reopening its theaters this month.)

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Council Discussing Shared Mobility Program in Future

In future months, the city may pilot a shared mobility program, bringing those rentable bicycles or scooters to the downtown area for residents and workers to use.
The City Council voted unanimously to open a bidding period for shared mobility companies to offer proposals for bicycles — manual or electric — as well as electric scooters to be placed downtown. Per Councilwoman Paula Devine’s suggestion, bids for each vehicle will be separate in the event the council wants to commit strictly to one or the other.
If Devine has her druthers, it would certainly be bicycles.

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Adventist Health Glendale Foundation Hosts ‘UNGala 2020’

By Nina Aghadjanian
Glendale News-Press

Photo courtesy Vic Pallos
Honorees Georgiana and Dr. Ronald Wu are pictured with Adventist Health Glendale President Alice Issai at the hospital’s UNGala drive-in fundraiser on Wednesday.

Amid a summer replete with COVID-19 versions of events like drive-thru graduations and concerts, the Adventist Health Glendale Foundation transformed the rooftop of the Americana at Brand into a nostalgic movie experience for its first-ever “drive-in gala.”
Aptly named, UNGala 2020 convened 140 cars and more than 200 guests to recognize Dr. Ronald S. and Georgiana Wu, this year’s honorees after which the foundation named the medical center’s main auditorium for their 52-year service to the hospital and community.
On Wednesday just before sunset, casually dressed and masked dignitaries pulled up to level eight of the Americana, where they were greeted with a welcome bag full of movie snacks and celebratory flags that read, “Congratulations Dr. Ronald and Mrs. Georgiana Wu.” From their cars, attendees waved to and cheered Adventist Health Glendale President Alice Issai and the Wus, who briefly stood outside their car while maintaining a six-foot distance. Attendees remained inside their vehicles for the entire evening in this unique “no contact” fundraiser.
The smell of popcorn wafted through the air while Abba’s “Dancing Queen” played from Issai’s convertible for the start of what felt like a feel-good party from which the hospital could be seen in the distance.
Though a real stage and hors d’oeuvres were sidelined by social distancing, the UNGala event, which was planned in a matter of two weeks, went on. The procession turned to car Tetris as vehicles made their way in front of two massive projection screens to watch the program, audible via K-Wave radio station 107.9 FM.

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County Receives Go-Ahead for More Reopenings

Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press
The Americana at Brand plans to reopen its stores for normal business — at half capacity — starting on Monday. Los Angeles County officials decided this week that retailers could reopen with the restrictions.

Los Angeles County officials have given the green light for restaurants to resume dine-in service, as well as for barbers and hair salons to reopen, provided they adhere to proper distancing and hygiene protocol.
The Friday update followed an announcement from Gov. Gavin Newsom that L.A. County was free to reopen those businesses according to state guidelines. Glendale, like most L.A. County cities, follows health direction from the county Department of Public Health.
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Bacari GDL Brings Italian ‘Cicchetti’ to the Americana at Brand

Robert and Danny Kronfli and executive chef/owner Lior Hillel have opened their third outpost of the Venetian tavern concept, Bacari GDL, joining Bacaro L.A. in Los Angeles and Bacari PDR in Playa Del Rey. Located at the Americana at Brand, Caruso’s shopping, dining and lifestyle destination in Glendale, the Italian-inspired restaurant focuses on fire-roasted dishes made in a wood-burning stone oven, and it incorporates Mediterranean influences from executive chef Lior Hillel’s Israeli heritage.

Photo courtesy of Bacari GDL
Robert (left) and Daniel Kronfli (right) recently opened Bacari GDL with executive chef and owner Lior Hillel.

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