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VARESE SARABANDE 35th Anniversary Gala Concert at the Deco WARNER GRAND THEATRE

UPDATE: Legendary film composer Hans Zimmer was just added to the event lineup which sold out several days ago. Reserved seat tickets have now been pre-purchased for all members who confirmed their interest in attending by e-mail or phone call.

As you will discover if you read below, this is a once in a lifetime film composer concert event and features such notable film composers as Jerry Goldmith, Hans Zimmer and Alan Silvestri. For that reason this concert is now virtually sold out (there are less than 100 seats left in this historic 1,500 seat art deco movie palace venue).

You can still buy tickets independently online--you will not be able to sit directly with our group, but you can still hang out with us before the concert, during intermission and afterwards for post-concert drinks. To buy your own tickets go to the following weblink:

For over three decades, Varèse Sarabande Records has been home to more of Hollywood film music's greatest composers than any other label. Founded in the spring of 1978, Varèse Sarabande became the first label solely dedicated to film music – releasing dozens of new film scores each year, along with countless classics from Hollywood's glorious Golden Age. Many of the label's first recordings were produced by the great George Korngold and conducted by the legendary likes of Miklós Rózsa and Elmer Bernstein.

Over the years, the Varèse film music family grew to include virtually everyone you could think of, but with over 80 releases, no composer's music appeared more frequently on the label than Jerry Goldsmith's. Now with a catalog of over 1,500 soundtrack albums, which grows by 60 to 70 titles each year, Varèse Sarabande remains the most prolific film music label in the world.

Music history will literally be made on May 11, 2013 at the Varese Sarabande 35th Anniversary Concert Gala with the Golden State Pops Orchestra, conducted by Steven Allen Fox and hosted by Robert Townson. It has been 50 years since a concert like this has been produced. By all accounts, September 25, 1963 was one of the most remarkable evenings in film music history. It took place at the Hollywood Bowl in front of over 10,000 people. Conducting their own music that night was a group of composers that today seems utterly beyond belief that they were ever assembled for a single concert. It happened once and was never repeated. Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, Alex North, Milos Rozsa, Elmer Bernstein, Dmitri Tiomkin, Henry Mancini, David Raksin, John Green and Nelson Riddle. Andy Williams and Mahalia Jackson sang, with Jack Benny as host.

Fifty years later history will repeat itself with a list of new composers, mixed with some of the legends already mentioned.

Music by:

Jerry Goldsmith, Georges Delerue, Joel McNeely, John Debney, Michael Giacchino, John Powell, Brian Tyler, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer and more. And more. And more still.

Music from the films:

Sea Hawk
Driving Miss Daisy
City Slickers
How to Train Your Dragon
Dolphin Tale
Iron Will
And the World Premiere of music from the yet to be released motion picture,Star Trek into Darkness

Plus much, much more!

None of us can go back in time to 1963 to attend the Bowl that magical September night, but you can be part of May 11, 2013.

NOTE: I have tried e-mailing everyone who RSVP'd, but in some cases the system says certain members now have unreachable, outdated system e-mail addresses. Specially discounted $30 tickets (25% off regular price) were offered exclusively to our group's members, but Jono had to go ahead and pre-purchase the seats in order for us to sit together and this once in a lifetime event as of 5/2 is almost entirely sold out.

The Golden State Pops Orchestra is unique because its programs always concentrate on film music. Jono has attended several, now legendary Halloween themed concerts by them which featured music from countless classic sci-fi and horror films as well as the group's 2011 holiday concert (this past December our group had an event date conflict with their scheduled holiday concert so it was unfortunately omitted from our roster).

But the other joy of hearing this orchestra (including professional studio-type musicians from the greater L.A. area) is visually seeing the concert presented in an old, but very clean, unrestored art deco theatre landmark gem--the historic Warner Grand Theatre. Unlike most of downtown L.A.'s movie palaces, the Warner Grand had somewhat lighter suburban neighborhood-type use over the years and its roof was always well maintained so the building did not suffer the kind of water damage that caused similar era historic downtown L.A. theatres to deteriorate so badly (though the Orpheum went through a moderate restoration in 2001 and Palace in 2011). The actual building property was acquired in the late 1990's by the City of Los Angeles, but is now maintained by a separate non-profit. For its inaugural event after the acquisition, the stage was actually built out to accommodate a special one night performance by the entire L.A. Philharmonic and that event later inspired the Golden State Pops Orchestra to make the Warner Grand its "home base" event venue.

Though the theatre is located in San Pedro--which many Angelinos consider to be on the other side of the world--in moderate weekend traffic it is only a 20-25 minute freeway drive from downtown Los Angeles (so is a lot closer than it seems). Jono is also willing to carpool from his home with 3 other members. San Pedro is an unusual, ungentrified, funky-but-very quaint town and in some ways seems to be in a time warp. Those who want to have an even more enriched experience are encouraged to meet Jono and other group members 1 1/2 hours before the concert to indulge in an authentic Southern-style barbeque dinner at a local hole-in-the-wall named Porky's which is a block from the theatre. (A separate listing will be added to our schedule for Porky's as the event date approaches). Then after the concert we will similarly hit a local bar for a post-concert cocktail. It is guaranteed that you will have an amazingly great time!

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  • Val

    Great night! Thanks to Jono for putting this together or I would have never known about it otherwise. It was amazing to hear so many film scores played by a live orchestra.

    May 12, 2013

  • Jono

    Carol I e-mailed you, but asked you to please respond to my personal e-mail address since the Meetup e-mail box gets too swamped for me to quickly review--but NEVER heard back???

    May 10, 2013

    • Carol I.

      Hi Jono -- so sorry, yesterday (Friday) was a nightmare (day started at 7:30 am and ended at 10:30 pm) and I didn't get on to the internet until this afternoon. My husband and I are planning to join you all at Porky's. We can't make the wine thing as we need to carpool our son. If there are tickets we can buy from someone, great, if not, then that's how it is. So sorry, it has just been crazy and hectic here but we would like to make contact!

      May 11, 2013

  • Jono

    Pre-concert events were scheduled late due to my recent chaotic business trip schedule and response was poor so I cancelled them. Sorry I did not have time to plan and announce them with more lead time, but I was out of town and very tied up with a demanding work schedule.

    May 11, 2013

  • Sheilah

    SOS I think my guest has bailed (more rant later) SOS is to catch a carpool![masked] and c if anyone has someone waitlisted or wanting to go in her place for that ticket!

    May 11, 2013

  • Carol I.

    Jono, my husband Bill and I just joined this meetup a few days ago and the concert was already sold out. But your description of San Pedro is so intriguing that we would like to meet you at Porky's and explore. We love old films!

    May 9, 2013

  • Jono

    I have been waiting for discount 1/2 priced tickets to appear on Goldstar, but so far--no luck! Normally they always list their tickets on Goldstar. So in the meantime I am contacting the Orchestra's director to see what kind of group discount they might offer us and will update everyone soon--JONO

    April 29, 2013

  • Patricia

    I'm confused, HOW do we get and pay for our Tickets?? And, WHEN do we do so? Also, are there any plans for pre-theatre dinner in or very near to San Pedro? (There's actually a Greek Restaurant, on the same street as the Theatre, but, just a couple of blocks down from the Theatre).

    April 24, 2013

  • Sheilah

    Also interested in going earlier, ie before dark, say early afternoon to sight see around the town itself, never been and just saw a BPS special on San Pedro last week!

    April 17, 2013

  • Sheilah

    Need to join a carpool and leave my heels at home this time! Anyone I can ride share with?

    April 17, 2013

  • Patricia

    Sounds great... &, Jono, I met you @ dinner before "Hitchcock" in West L.A.

    April 2, 2013

  • Jono

    San Pedro is technically part of the City of Los Angeles, so the Meetup address which is semi-automated brought up the Los Angeles part of the Warner Grand's formal address--IT IS DEFINITELY IN DOWNTOWN SAN PEDRO--and if you have not spent time there recently it is as if it was in a time warp, but in a good and interesting way. There will be a pre-show dinner option announced in a few weeks and that will give some added glimpses of the downtown area. I am still hoping they offer discounted tix on Goldstar which they have done in the past. Will keep everyone posted!

    March 13, 2013

  • Sheilah

    I think i'm confused, at the top of the meetup it reads Warner Grand Theater, 478 West 6th St, LA, and then later in the descript it says that the theater is in San Pedro-totally confused pls clarify tx

    March 12, 2013

  • Sheilah

    Wooza! Sounds really top drawer! (fyi- guest to be confirmed still should now well in advance to update if needed)

    March 12, 2013

  • Christina

    Dinner too!

    January 8, 2013

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