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A Day In San Pedro

March 25, 2007|Jessica Gelt

Cinema Paradiso

The Warner Grand Theatre is getting grander. Over time the 1931 movie palace's wooden armrests had become worn and scarred, cracking Naugahyde covered the seats and the air-conditioning consisted of a primitive basin filled with chunks of ice. But now the armrests boast a new coat of finish and the seats have been reupholstered in green Jacquard chenille with a geometric pattern matching the original Art Deco balcony design. The new sound system delivers minute effects--like the crisp crunch of shoes on gravel--perfectly. There's also an updated 50-foot screen (the old one was stained and torn) and a climate-control system. The 1,500-seat theater in the downtown arts district hosts foreign films, classics and live performances by groups such as the San Pedro City Ballet. Screenings are special events: Cammie King, who played Bonnie Blue Butler in "Gone With the Wind," introduced that film. The theater was designed by Pantages architect B. Marcus Priteca for Jack Warner, who called it "The Castle of Your Dreams."

WARNER GRAND THEATRE 478 W. 6th St. warnergrand.org

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THE BAY MAKES THE TOWN

The Port of Los Angeles, located in San Pedro Bay, is the busiest port in the U.S. Explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first sailed into the bay under the Spanish flag in 1542. The area came under U.S. control in 1848, after the U.S. defeated Mexico in the Mexican-American War.

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AN ACT OF NATURE

This time of year thousands of people descend at night on Cabrillo Beach to watch the small silver fish known as the grunion flop out of the water to spawn. "There are times when you can't see the sand," says Mike Schaadt, director of the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. "It's just a silvery, flapping band; it's surreal." The fish, which come onshore at high tide through July, can be harvested at certain times of the season. (310) 548-7562 or cabrilloaq.org.

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MY FIND

Evan Brummel, a 24-year-old baritone who will receive a bachelor's degree in music from Chapman University, has been wowing patrons of Papadakis Taverna since he began working there last fall. He'll flambe your saganaki cheese and, moments later, launch into a soaring aria. "I need his autograph," one diner recently said. "I just know he's going to be a huge star." 301 W. 6th St., (310) 548-1186. Myspace.com/evanbrummel

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Evan's 5 Favorite Arias:

Silvio's from "I Pagliacci"

"Avant de quitter ces lieux" from "Faust"

"Deh, vieni alla finestra" from "Don Giovanni"

"Bella siccome un angelo" from "Don Pasquale"

"Largo al factotum" from "The Barber of Seville"

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