CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 2011 |
The carnival-like atmosphere of the Balboa Fun Zone apparently will not pass without a fight. A group of preservationists has launched a Facebook campaign to halt plans for ExplorOcean, an ocean-themed educational center that would essentially erase the 1930s-era amusement park from the heart of Balboa. The Fun Zone has become something of a game piece in the debate over whether Balboa has become scruffy and in need of a face-lift, and whether a gleaming new development would kick some needed life into the area.
October 7, 2011 |
Though you could fit its story on the head of a pin, "A Bird of the Air" is a gently involving character dramedy with a pair of appealing leads who help give this offbeat movie flight. The movie's "Accidental Tourist"-type love match involves New Mexico highway worker Lyman (Jackson Hurst, star material), a loner nursing a traumatic past, and Fiona (Rachel Nichols), a chatty, unflappable librarian at the local college where Lyman has taken a decade's worth of courses. Their paths cross after a green parrot with an eclectic vocabulary flies into Lyman's trailer, inspiring him to track down the brash, old bird's former owner, which, thanks to Fiona's detective-like research, turns out to be owners, plural — many of them played by such deft character actors as Judith Ivey, Buck Henry, Phyllis Somerville and Gary Farmer.
August 26, 2011 |
The clever and lively "Politics of Love" sets a romantic comedy against the 2008 presidential election and affords fine parts for its stars, Mallika Sherawat and Brian J. White. Inevitably, there's a twinge in watching a movie centered on an election that inspired such high hopes from today's troubled perspective, but on its own terms, "Politics of Love" emerges as an amusing entertainment. It's an encouraging accomplishment not only for its stars but also for its skillful director, William Dear, and writer Gary Goldstein, a freelance film critic for the Los Angeles Times.
July 21, 2011 |
Reporting from Dorney Park in Allentown, Pa.-- The campgrounds, picnic groves and trolley parks that proliferated in Pennsylvania and Ohio in the late 19th century have survived through lean times and changing tastes to become some of the oldest operating amusement parks in the U.S. Photos: Vintage rides and attractions at America's oldest amusement parks Like many of the oldest theme parks on my trip across America's Coaster...
July 17, 2011 |
Reporting from Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pa. - As one of the oldest amusement parks in America, Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pa., has always been geared toward youngsters under 12 years old. Photos : Top 10 kids' rides at Idlewild Park Idlewild is about firsts and lasts. For generations, kids have ridden their first merry go round, Ferris wheel and roller coaster at the idyllic park. At the same time, Idlewild is home to many last-of-their-kind rides, including a caterpillar, haunted swing, tilt house and Tumble Bug. A cross between a wooded national park and permanent carnival, Idlewild stays true to its origins by allowing visitors to bring their lunches in coolers and baskets.
July 16, 2011 |
Reporting from Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa. - With its extensive collection of turn-of-the-century rides and attractions, Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa., is a living, breathing, trapped-in-amber ode to the "Golden Age of Amusement Parks. " Photos: Top 10 oldest rides and attractions at Kennywood As you pass through the tunnel from the parking lot to the park, you're transported back in time to a place full of memories and free of worries. Filled with vintage wooden coasters and rare old rides, the quaint and nostalgic park is the kind of place passed down from generation to generation.
July 14, 2011 |
"Cars 2" is a hit with the younger crowd, thrilled to see familiar animated friend Lightning McQueen engaged in action-packed motor racing and fender-deep in cool, spy-world gadgetry. The new Pixar animated sequel also features Mater the tow truck and many of the characters from the original 2006 film as they travel overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix and become entangled in James Bond-esque intrigue. But young visitors to Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre can take the adventure further.
July 11, 2011 |
I need another vacation. I began the last one with a colonoscopy. It was either that or talk to Steve Soboroff about his time with the Dodgers. The rest of the vacation was spent with the three grandchildren, who make more noise these days than a Dodger Stadium crowd. It's hard to describe the steady din. The twins still kind of grunt, especially when they are eating. You know, like Tom Lasorda . The 7-Eleven Kid , meanwhile, turned 6 on Monday and someone thought it would be a good idea if G.P. took the kid to California Adventure a few days before that.
June 21, 2011 |
A former Walt Disney Co. executive and hotel chain manager was named president of Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., the Ohio theme park company that owns Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. Cedar Fair announced Monday that Matthew A. Ouimet, 53, will also take over as chief executive when Dick Kinzel, 70, retires from the post Jan. 3. Ouimet has worked for 20 years in the amusement park and hospitality industry, including 17 years with Disney. He most recently held the post of president and chief operating officer of Corinthian Colleges Inc., a collection of for-profit colleges in the U.S. and Canada.
June 5, 2011 |
The text message was from Smoothini, the Ghetto Houdini. "Abracadabra," it said. Presumably, this was code for "I'm awake, and I'm ready for the interview. " That was the case. But as Las Vegas illusionist-magician-trickster Tomas de la Cruz (a.k.a. "Smoothini") said on the phone a few minutes later, "I have to use that word some time. I don't use it on stage, so I find ways to make 'abracadabra' cool. " He chuckles, but it's clear he's also serious about making abracadabra - or magic - cool.