It's a parade like no other. On a summer afternoon, they approach: schooners, yachts, brigantines?even fire boats and battleships. White sails billow grandly and woodwork gleams from the docks, and things remain exciting once the vessels drop anchor. Guests at the Tallships Festival LA can experience both their majesty and their intricacy by signing up for group tours of their interiors, where they can glimpse the captain's quarters, stand in awe of the heavy artillery, and witness the vast stores of canoes required to feed them every day.
The first thing people notice about Circus Vargas is its big-top tent. Hand-fashioned in Milan from 90,000 square feet of cerulean-blue fabric dotted with yellow stars, the canopy completed the illusion of an elegant lost era when used in the 2011 film Water for Elephants. The last thing people notice is the absence of animals. They're too busy gaping at a man balancing a 12-step ladder with his mouth.
Keeping its marvels strictly human, Circus Vargas builds on a 40-year history by blending classic feats of fearlessness with surprising new tricks. The show features magic tricks along with a skilled hand balancer, a speed juggler, and the wheel of destiny.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking after 6 p.m. and all day Sunday
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Films and Concerts
Recommended Age Group: All Ages with parental guidance
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
The Warner Brothers believed a glamorous picture palace should be a place of escape, a place where dreams come true. They built three lavish art deco picture palaces in Beverly Hills, Huntington Park, and San Pedro. The Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, the first sound-equipped theatre in the South Bay, opened to the public on January 20, 1931, with a star-studded gala premier. Jack Warner christened it "The Castle of Your Dreams," created by its chief architect B. Marcus Priteca and designer A.T. Heinsbergen.
What?s your favorite part of your job?
Engaging and inspiring our community through the arts.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
In the mid-1990s, we saved the Warner Grand Theatre, a spectacular 1931 art deco movie palace and cornerstone of the town's revitalization. (Plans were to turn it into a swap meet.) Today, we promote and preserve this beautiful theater while also presenting events and educational experiences at the Theatre and at the Grand Annex, our cabaret-style venue down the street.
Like many great movies, the San Pedro International Film Festival began with a little romance. In 2012, the festival's inaugural year, a comedy-drama titled Silver Linings Playbook made its LA festival premiere, screening alongside other inspirational films with unique and global perspectives—reflective of the city's diverse culture. Silver Linings Playbook won Best Feature film, and a few months later, in the same city, went on to take home more than a dozen heavy-weight awards.
SPIFF, as the festival calls itself, shows its commitment to great cinematic works in ways that go beyond honoring excellent movies. The festival dives into the inner workings of the film industry with workshops and speakers slotted between its screenings. And before the festival even begins, a two-day Youth Film Intensive held at San Pedro's Croatian Cultural Center introduces budding Spielbergs to techniques in storytelling and structure, as well as the ins-and-outs of casting, producing, and sneaking subliminal messages into the title credits.