■ By Susan Carrier / Contributed
Saturday, March 24 was a night of celebration at the Historic Hemet Theatre (HHT). Balloons and champagne were on hand for the announcement that the purchase of the vintage movie house was complete and that the HHT Foundation finally holds the title on behalf of the valley community. For five years, volunteers, donors, and patrons have joined together to build a community arts center that would energize Hemet’s Downtown District and preserve this treasured valley landmark. With this milestone, that dream is now reality. Plans have already begun for the renovation to be completed in time for its 100th birthday celebration in 2021.
It was also the night to announce the line-up for the next season of Tribute Mania Concerts. By the end of the evening, hundreds of tickets had been scooped up by fans determined to ensure their seats for the next group of concerts. The limited number of season tickets were particularly popular since they will be the first to sell out.
Tribute Mania season two concerts:
Saturday, May 12: Tribute to The Rolling Stones with The Ultimate Stones
Saturday, May 26: Tribute to Led Zeppelin with Led Zepagain
Saturday, June 9: Tribute to The Who with WhosNext
Saturday, June 23: Tribute to The Doobie Brothers with China Grove
Saturday, July 7: Tribute to Chicago with Kenny Cetera’s Chicago Experience
Saturday, July 14: Tribute to The Bee Gees with Bee Gees Gold
Saturday, August 4: Tribute to The Eagles with Desperado
Saturday, August 18: Tribute to Queen with Queen Nation.
Meanwhile, Mirage was on hand with their “Visions of Fleetwood Mac” for a sold out return engagement. With glowing images of Stevie Nicks on the 40-foot screen behind her, Michelle Tyler twirled in circles—the fringe of her shawl flying around her.
A couple of dozen “newbies” were in the house—some from as far away as Los Angeles—drawn by the urging of friends to visit our charming old movie house. As usual, they found themselves captivated by the enthusiasm and camaraderie of the audience. And even before the first note, they were clapping and yelling at the top of their lungs with the rest of the crowd.
As usual, the dance floor was filled with couples rocking to all those classic hits. Feeding off the energy of the crowd, the band was obviously having a great time. So much so—that at the end of the evening—the band literally begged for an encore along with the crowd.
Two events remain in season one of the Tribute Mania Series. A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen featuring The Rising on Saturday, April 14 and a Tribute to Tom Petty with Petty and the Heartshakers on Saturday, April 28. Tickets to the Petty tribute have been particularly popular and will almost certainly sell out before show day.
Showtime for all Tribute Mania concerts is 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $22 presale and $25 day of show.
HHT also features classic films for just $5 every Monday and Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. Coming up on Monday, April 9 is “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1950) starring José Ferrer, Mala Powers, and William Prince, and on Tuesday, April 10 is “Plan Nine From Outer Space” (1959) starring Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, and Mona McKinnon.
Information on all theatre events is available at www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com or by calling the ticket office at 951-658-5950. A weekly email blast of upcoming events is available by enrolling on the website.
Event tickets are available online at www.PurplePass.com or at the theatre ticket office. Ticket office hours are Monday thru Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are also available at the Downtown Deli, 113 N. Harvard St., and the Harvard Street Music Exchange, 134 S. Harvard St.