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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

Orpheum Theatre opens its doors to public Thursday

By DIANE VANCE | Sep 23, 2013

The renovated Orpheum Theatre in Fairfield, formerly known as the Co-Ed, opens to the public Thursday with an onstage, live interview with Hollywood insider, marketing and public relations professional John Raatz.

The theatre will open Friday, showing Manhattan Short (film festival works) at 7:30 p.m. for a week while employees train on the job for the theatre’s opening to show movies the following week.

“We’re having what I’m calling a ‘soft’ opening Friday,” said theatre manager Kristian Day. “We have to test things out and get employees trained. We need to have a few days where we’re allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.

“The ‘Manhattan Shorts’ stand on their own as good films, and we want people to come to the Theatre and see the renovations and updates.”

Thursday’s event with Raatz begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $3 at the door. He will discuss how to strike the balance between creativity and commercial value in the entertainment industry.

Raatz is in Fairfield to also speak with the students in the David Lynch master’s of arts degree in film.

“I had a call from Eden West in the film department, apparently they’ve been waiting for the Orpheum Theatre to open to have another venue for Raatz to connect with the whole community,” said Day.

Raatz visited Fairfield with actor Jim Carrey this summer, helping to promote Carrey’s latest children’s book. He was invited by Stuart Tanner, documentary filmmaker and a professor in the film department at Maharishi University of Management, to come back and tell his stories from the inner circles of Hollywood.

“John was a major force behind the success of ‘What the Bleep Do We Know!?’ — a film the studios gave no chance of success. He helped this film about the fundamental nature of consciousness and the universe become a hit,” said Tanner who will be hosting the evening and leading the interview with Raatz.

“Do spirituality and consciousness have a place in Hollywood? One of the best people to answer that question is John Raatz,” said Tanner.

As a representative for influential artists, such as Carrey and including Madonna and Martin Sheen, and thought-provoking films, ‘A Brief History of Time’ and ‘Baraka,’ Raatz will give the audience an in-depth look inside the entertainment industry.

The night will focus on his work facilitating the success of media that seeks to raise individual and global awareness.

“I want to share with the creative community of Fairfield some of the latest developments in the rapidly expanding field of transformational entertainment and media, as well as dialogue about how to progress creative projects toward manifestation in the world,” Raatz said.

In addition to his work representing scores of actors, authors and films, Raatz is the CEO of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE), which he co-founded with Jim Carrey. The organization was created to serve as an amplifier for inspired, open-minded projects with broad perspectives and to market them with passion and flexibility.

Raatz will be speaking in the north room, which has 95 new theatre seats and 12 table seats up front, with a stage, said Day.

“We’ve installed the digital projectors,” said Day. “We’ve taken the seats out of the south room, but it is not finished yet.

“We want the Orpheum to be a multi-events venue,” he said. “We can host lectures, stand-up comedy and live concerts as well as show films.”

Both the north entrance on Bix Alley and south entrance on Broadway Avenue can be used for the Theatre.

Beginning Thursday, concessions will be available, including popcorn, theatre candy, beer, wine, Pepsi products, coffee, tea and Fairfield-produced kombucha sodas.


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