Western features local faces, spaces
■ Susan Carrier / Contributed
There’s a new western in town. “Cataract Gold,” a Paul Kiener production, features some familiar faces. Four local residents known as “the Ramona Cowboys” provide their expertise to the film— with Steve Solkotch, Dan Ferguson, Michael Thomas and Eric Cervantes playing supporting roles. Normally seen in the Ramona Pageant at the Ramona bowl in Hemet, these cowboys and their horses ride again for this project.
Based on a true story, the plot details an 1869 mapping exhibition that ends in disaster, leaving behind a hidden stash of government gold. A decade later, an unscrupulous cattle baron and his sons set out to find a map and retrieve the gold. A deadly race ensues to find the “Cataract Gold.”
The film stars Dale Shane, Morgan Alise James, and Caroline DeGraeve. A significant portion of the feature was filmed in the local area, adding additional interest among valley residents.
Publicized as “The New American Western, the script features richly complex characters. The film received rave reviews at the Mary Pickford Theater in Palm Springs where it premiered in late January. The film is not yet scheduled for general release, but local fans will have an opportunity to see the film this weekend with a special screening for the Ramona Spring Festival in downtown Hemet. Screenings for “Cataract Gold” will be 7 p.m. daily from Saturday, April 1 thru Tuesday, April 4th. General admission tickets are just $10, available during normal business hours or at the door. As part of the Ramona Spring Festival on Saturday April 1, the cast will hold a Q&A session after the screening.
As an additional feature of the Ramona Spring Festival, there will be a vintage photo booth hosted by the Hemet Woman’s Club in the lobby of the Historic Hemet Theatre on Saturday April 1 from 1 to 5 p.m. The Ramona Bowl has generously provided costumes that visitors can use to dress up and take home a wonderful 8×10 vintage photo for just $10. Proceeds will benefit local community projects, including the Hemet Library Foundation.
For a full lineup of upcoming events, call the box office at (951) 658-5950 or visit www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com.