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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS : Multiplex Multiplication : The General Cinema complex will now seat 2,800. An AMC venue is due to open in late fall.


Starting today, San Fernando Valley moviegoers will have more choices. The Fallbrook 7 General Cinema is now the Fallbrook 10; its three new screens are open for business.

"The building is ready," said Bob Artz, General Cinema's director of marketing. "We're planning to be putting people in those seats Aug. 11."

General Cinema expanded into space previously occupied by a barbecue restaurant and an ice cream shop. The three new screening rooms will add about 600 seats, bringing the complex's total to about 2,800. Artz says the new auditoriums are designed with side aisles for better viewing, state-of-the-art 35-millimeter projection and sound equipment--two have Dolby stereo, the other has Ultra Stereo--plus snack bars and restrooms.

The General Cinema's new space is one of two projects that will add screens in the West Valley. The other, an AMC 16-screen complex at Oxnard Street and Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Woodland Hills, is due to open in late fall. A planned third project, a Pacific Theatre 18-screen venue at Victory and Topanga Canyon boulevards, has been canceled for economic reasons, company spokeswoman Amy Wood said this week.

Fallbrook 10 General Cinema, Fallbrook Mall, 6731 Fallbrook Ave., West Hills, (818) 347-6091.


COME TO THE CABARET: The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is offering something a bit different Friday nights from its usual classic fare. It's bringing back its Friday Night Cabaret Series.

"We tested it as a pilot program last year and the people who came seemed to really enjoy it," said artistic director Ellen Geer.

The concept of a cabaret series harks back to the Botanicum's early days when it served as a performance space during the McCarthy era for blacklisted actors and artists, including its founder, the late Will Geer. The cabaret series is also something of a family affair.

The series will open Aug. 18 with singer-songwriter Peter Alsop, Ellen Geer's husband. Best known recently for his music for children, Alsop also performs adult material dealing with a wide range of social issues. Geer and her sister Melora Marshall will perform a program of music and dramatization Aug. 25. They will be accompanied by keyboard player Greg Hilfman.

Performance artist Kedric Robin Wolfe, slated for Sept. 1, will offer an evening of old and newer works under the title "The Urban Series."

Closing out this year's series Sept. 8 will be Cameron Silver, named Cabaret Performer of the Year by Entertainment Today newspaper in 1994. He will perform "Berlin to Babylon," an act featuring the songs of Kurt Weill and Fredrick Hollaender.

For the cabaret series, the audience will sit on the amphitheater's stage while artists perform on its upper platform. The closeness makes for a different type of artistic experience, Geer said.

"The remarkable thing about cabaret, it's very intimate," she said. "It's hard not to be yourself."

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, presents its Friday Night Cabaret Series at 8 p.m. Fridays, Aug. 18 to Sept. 8. Tickets are $10. Call (310) 455-3723.


NEW SEASON: Individual tickets will go on sale Aug. 21 for the Alex Theatre's "Glendale's Best of Broadway" season, featuring productions by the Theater League, a national performing arts organization headquartered in Kansas City.

The season opens Sept. 19 with Jack Jones and Lorna Patterson in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific." Other shows in the season are Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" with David Birney, Dec. 12 to 17; Neil Simon's musical comedy, "The Goodbye Girl," with Gary Sandy, Feb. 20 to 25, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Evita," May 7 to 12.

"In looking at programs for the future, we wanted musicals," Martin Kagan, the Alex's executive director, said. "We were impressed with the Theater League. Their productions were of a high quality."

The Theater League also provides shows for the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and venues in Phoenix, Toledo and Kansas City.

Ticket holders for the Theatre Corp. of America's aborted season last year at the Alex have been offered one-for-one exchanges or $20-per-ticket discounts on subscriptions to this new series.

Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (800) 233-3123.

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