"Ornate" and "sweeping" only begin to describe the Crest Theatre, whose rich history extends back to 1912, when it was opened as a vaudeville house. Within its gargantuan auditorium, plush seats perch in subtly curved rows while elaborate lights and a sea-blue ceiling wash the space in ethereal hues. Moviegoers settle into the elegant confines to take in both new and classic films, reading the subtitles in a whisper to stuffed animals that forgot their glasses. Out in the lobby, a richly patterned carpet and bronzed floral motif cover the sprawling space as visitors belly up to the bar and snack on high-quality goodies.
Each year, the Mainstage troupe stages seven challenging, emotion-evoking plays in an intimate theater setting. The current production, Old Love (running Aug. 1–Sept. 12), jumps back and forth through 25 years in the relationship of a salesman, Bud Mitchell, and his boss's wife, Molly Graham. The illicit infatuation is portrayed through scenes of sporadic encounters interspersed with heartfelt monologues and comedic moments both light and dark. Adult tickets for Friday-, Saturday-, and Sunday-evening shows are normally $30 (senior and student tickets are $28); Tuesday-, Wednesday-, and Thursday-evening shows are normally $25 (senior/student $23); and Wednesday matinees are normally $22 (senior/student $18). Check the schedule for showtimes, and put on your play-watching pilot's goggles for an evening of stellar stagework at B Street Theatre.
Every year, on the weekend just before Thanksgiving, the Mountain Mandarin Festival unites crowds beneath the Gold Country Fairgrounds' autumn-leaved trees to celebrate fresh crops of mandarin oranges. Throughout the event, family-centered activities keep visitors of all ages entertained, including cooking contests, professional-chef demonstrations, and live musical performances. Also on hand, Placer County growers dole out thousands of pounds of fresh mandarin oranges, and more than 200 vendors showcase gifts ranging from lotions and candles to artist-crafted jewelry.