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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Port Hueneme

Owner Has Big Plans for Cultural Center

May 09, 2000|STACY BROWN

The new owner of the 17-year-old Dorill B. Wright Cultural Arts Center theater plans to use the facility as a movie studio, movie theater and site of an annual film festival.

"We have so many plans for the center, and it will allow independent filmmakers, actors, producers and the rest to fully utilize their skills," said Angela Kamm, a spokeswoman for Pacific Coast Entertainment of Simi Valley.

After five months of negotiations with the city that led to an agreement in March and last week's escrow closing, Pacific Coast representatives said they will soon be ready to open the 14,000-square-foot center's doors to the public.

"This place has lots going for it," Kamm said. "It has such a lovely setting with the beach and ocean, and the sound system is dynamic. We will be ready to open after we do some touching up. It's like getting a new home: You want to unpack and put things in order before you invite guests to dinner."

The company paid $1.1 million for the more than 500-seat theater and plans to hold a three-day international film festival beginning Oct. 5.

"The city is extremely happy with the deal," said David Gladstone of Michael David & Co. Real Estate Services, the firm representing Port Hueneme in the deal. "We ran into a few speed bumps along the way, but we got it done and everyone is happy."

Councilman Murray Rosenbluth said the deal was important for the city in terms of revenue.

He noted that the center needs about $250,000 in repairs and costs the city at least $35,000 annually for its upkeep.

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