Lanterman Auditorium is a wonderful 812-seat facility that contributes heavily to the arts and entertainment life of La Cañada Flintridge. It is booked virtually every day of the year for performances, graduations and meetings by the various La Cañada Unified School District schools; area private schools like the adjacent Learning Castle preschool and La Cañada Preparatory School; and by community nonprofit groups like Revolution Dance, the Pasadena Civic Ballet, Karavan Dance, the La Cañada Junior Theatre, the Assistance League of Flintridge and the La Cañada Girl Scouts.
Lanterman Auditorium was saved by the city from being indefinitely closed over a decade ago. Formerly a junior high school auditorium, the large venue suffered from deferred maintenance and needed renovations. It was largely unused by the La Cañada Unified School District which had built the facility in the 1960s. So, through a joint-use agreement with school district, the City of La Cañada Flintridge was able to keep the facility open for the benefit of the public.
Since then the city has annually devoted substantial funds to the auditorium’s renovation and promotion, according to Carl Alameda, director of administrative services for the city.
“At the inception of the city’s management, the facility was run at a deficit due to the substantial capital improvements made and the hiring of a professional auditorium staff. However, over the past five fiscal years, the auditorium has made a positive contribution to our general fund. This allows the city’s continued future improvements for the betterment of the facility and the benefit of the community. We currently have about 50 unique users of the facility,” Alameda said.
“Some of these groups probably wouldn’t have been able to keep their programming within the community, but the city council had the vision to preserve this community resource, providing our local community groups a place to perform and meet. The adopted rate schedule provides area nonprofits a discounted rate and the joint-use agreement provides 25 free dates each year to the La Cañada Unified School District schools,” he added.
In addition, during the annual Memorial Day weekend festivities, it is used for various activities including hosting VIP guests and as a staging area.
Lanterman Auditorium is named after Frank Lanterman, an early settler, landholder and California Assemblyman in the La Cañada Flintridge area.
La Cañada Unified School District Visual Arts program
One month each year the citizens of La Cañada Flintridge have the opportunity to view exceptional paintings, sculpture, ceramics, drawings and photos, created by the students of the La Cañada Unified School District in grades 7 through 12. This year the annual student art show will be featured in the foyer of the La Cañada High School auditorium during the entire month of April.
It may be viewed before scheduled performances in the auditorium, during the school’s lunch period and by appointment, according to Mike Kauffman, chairman of the La Cañada High School visual arts department.
Approximately 300 students are expected to exhibit their work this year.
Items shown will range from pen and ink drawings, to watercolors, charcoal drawings, ceramics (both wheel-thrown and hand-created), figure drawings, still life paintings, sculptures and photography. All are created by students in high school classes or, in the case of photography, in the county-funded Regional Occupational Program.
“We will show a smattering of everything,” Kauffman said.
“The purpose of our visual arts program is, first and foremost, to develop in the students an appreciation for the visual arts and second, to help interested students build a portfolio for an art school applications,” he said. “So we want to expose our students to as many different types of art as possible.”
With an enrollment of 1,445 in grades 9-12, La Cañada High School has been named both a “California Distinguished School” and a “National Blue Ribbon School.” The U.S. Department of Education has recognized it for “high achievement and exemplary programs,” rich extracurricular activities and strong community support.
Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge
The non-profit Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge has been serving the leisure time needs of area residents since a group of volunteers built the facility in 1949. Over the years, the offerings and focus of the community center has evolved to meet the changing needs of residents from young children to seniors, and everyone in between.
Today, the center runs a preschool for approximately 120 children in a converted house across the parking lot from the main facility. The center is also renowned for its huge ceramics program which runs six days a week year-round and boasts five kilns. But the center also offers a range of arts programs like guitar ninjas program for children, ballroom dancing, ballet, drama and music, as well as exercise classes like yoga and “Mindful Children’s Yoga, a STEM program called “Egghead Explorers” and a class on manners for kids.
Their camps also continue to sell out throughout the year. They have sport camps, Camp Runamuk and even a STEM spring camp with Egghead Explorers. Camp Runamuk is held for four to six weeks each summer as well as sport camps: flag football, baseball, sports blitz and soccer. They also hold holiday sports and craft camps and a quarterly American Red Cross-certified babysitters training program that is always filled.
“We also have a number of programs that rent our facilities to teach everything from Chinese for kids to meditation for adults, piano to folk dancing and martial arts to Jazzercise, so they help to keep us well-rounded and balanced,” said Maureen Bond, executive director. “A monthly arts group even meets here, as does the local Kiwanis Club Board of Directors, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and there is an English as a Second Language class for adults.”
“There is something for everyone here,” she added, “but our bread-and-butter programs are our preschool and youth sports like soccer and basketball. We even offer our preschoolers private enrichment classes after their school day is done – in Fun with Fitness, Hip Hop, cooking, Spanish, ceramics, dance party and pre-school all-stars, to name a few – for an extra fee.”
“In addition, our senior programs continue to thrive with our Bridge Club (the oldest member is 101 years old) and our Hula Program that has beginning and intermediate classes,” Bond added.
The community center has a full-time staff of two, another two at the preschool and a part-time staff of 20. The center’s building is owned by the city, but the nonprofit leases it and pays for all maintenance and repairs. All of this is funded by rentals, class fees, donations, two annual and wildly popular ceramics sales in May and December, a casino night each May during Fiesta Days and a Thanksgiving 5K run, Bond said.
This year they will hit the 25th anniversaries of both the Western Round Up and the Thanksgiving Run/Food Drive.
The community center is located at 4469 Chevy Chase Dr. For more information, visit www.cclcf.org or phone (818) 790-4353.
Regal Cinemas Complex
La Cañada Flintridge is home to a luxury, eight-screen theater complex located at 1919 Verdugo Blvd. Opened in 1995, the theater is owned by the Regal Entertainment Group.
The theater’s 555 seats are luxury recliners. In addition, the theater offers reserved seating. Guests are able to select their seat when they purchase their tickets at the box office or online, so they know their selected seats will be waiting for them when they walk into the auditorium.
The Regal Entertainment Group also offers patrons its Regal Crown Club, a free loyalty program that rewards its guests who love the movies. Guests receive credits that add up to free soft drinks, popcorn and movie tickets. In addition, club members receive $2 “featured candy” on Mondays and $2 popcorn on Tuesdays when they see a movie and show their club card at the box office.
Regal Cinemas also has a free app that you can download and have show time and movie information on your mobile device. App users also receive a free concession coupon each month.
For more information, visit www.REGmovies.com.