Village Theatre celebrates centennial in 'grand' style

Hundreds attend downtown Danville event culminating yearlong celebration

Hundreds converged on downtown Danville Saturday evening to help celebrate the centennial of the Village Theatre.

"It was great to see such a turnout, after all of the planning that preceded the event," Danville Town Manager Joe Calabrigo said. "It was a wonderful opportunity to gather and celebrate the history of this building and the role it has played over the last 100 years of our community."

The evening-long event, dubbed "The Grand Engagement," featured a gala in the Town Meeting Hall, an opening reception for the new Village Theatre Art Gallery exhibit and a presentation highlighting the building's history.

"I think it was a great event, one where we had around 400 people come out. It was a great opportunity for the community to celebrate one of its historic places to gather," Danville Recreation Services Manager Henry Perezalonso said.

The Village Theatre, 233 Front St. in Danville, marked its grand opening Nov. 28, 1913.

The town has hosted a variety of special events throughout this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary. The Grand Engagement represented the culmination of the yearlong celebration.

Saturday's gala gave attendees the chance to mingle while looking at historical photos of the theater and sampling wine and appetizers.

The art-gallery reception, which ran concurrent to the gala, allowed guests to tour the latest exhibit, entitled "Barn Dance: Celebrating Our Agrarian Heritage."

Featuring art from the Bay Area Studio Artists, "Barn Dance" is a showcase of works depicting the agricultural tradition of Danville and other areas of California. The exhibition runs through Dec. 16.

The "Centennial Presentation" followed the gala and art reception -- a show during which local leaders took turns sharing details about the building's use over the years. Topics included the theater's early years, the Depression Era and revitalization during the past 25 years.


Like this comment
Posted by Kristina Camara
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 20, 2013 at 10:40 am

I grew up in Alamo in the late 40's. I remember the Saturday matinee at The village. Movies like Flash Gordon and the old cowboys. Fifteen cents to go to the movie. There was a resident cat. He or she might join us as you watch the movie. I am an "out of townsman" now. It is satisfying to know the theater is still providing a gathering place for the town. Wish I had been there.

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