Volunteers are key to HHT success

Contributed Photo
The Historic Hemet Theatre is one of the oldest movie houses in the nation and is looking for volunteers to staff its events.

■ By Susan Carrier / Contributed

On Saturday the Historic Hemet Theatre will host its third sellout concert of the year with a Tribute to The Eagles featuring Desperado. Making that happens are dozens of volunteers behind the scenes, giving back to their community.
The HHT Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to improving the quality of life in the valley through: 1) preservation of the Historic Hemet Theatre (one of the oldest movie houses in the nation); 2) cultural enrichment through performing arts and educational programming; and 3) economic revitalization of Hemet’s historic downtown district. The organization operates with a 100 percent volunteer staff that performs a wide range of tasks.
Patrons are most familiar with the 15 to 20 volunteers who staff the concerts. They staff the concession stand and beer/wine bar, cashier the box office, distribute will call tickets, sell raffle tickets, assist the performers and audio technicians, operate the follow spots, monitor the bathroom supplies, photograph and videotape the performance, and assist patrons as needed.
Behind the scenes there are dozens more that mop and vacuum the lobby and auditorium, clean bathrooms, wash windows, change the marquee and hang the 16-foot banners on the side of the building. Then there are the handymen who change light bulbs, repair the plumbing, patch the roof (it leaks with every rain), and help keep the 95-year-old building operational.
Still other volunteers are involved in the marketing and publicity for the theatre, updating websites and Facebook pages, sending out email blasts, and working with the media to spread the word on upcoming events. Several volunteers take posters and flyers to public buildings and local coffee shops.
It’s a great way to give back to the community in a meaningful way, working with a team that is making a positive impact on our valley. If you would like to get involved, there will be a volunteer orientation meeting on Tuesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. Foundation volunteers will discuss the theatre project and help new volunteers find a good fit for their talents. After the meeting, volunteers are welcome to stay for the classic film that starts at 7 p.m. Call the box office for information at (951) 658-5950.

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