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Opinion: Keeping cool at the movies

Mother Nature is currently serving up a hearty helping of H-O-T. So we can look forward to at least another week of triple-digit temperatures and probably the lousy air quality that goes with it.

Here’s a treat to help make it more bearable: On Saturday, as the high temperature is set to be 108 degrees, Cal-Gran Theaters and Movies Madera are celebrating National Cinema Day.

They are offering all 1,000 seats on its six screens, at 1140 North Gateway Drive, for $3, all day, on all shows.

Additionally, a small drink, popcorn and all candy are also just $3 each!

“Our theater makes for a great ‘Cooling Center,’” said owner Bobby Gran.

The box office opens at 11:15 a.m.

According to the cinema’s website, the movies include “Honk for Jesus, Spiderman: NoWay Home, The Invitation, Beast, Dragon Ball: Super Hero, Bullet Train and DC League of Super-Pets.”

What a great way to keep you and your families entertained and cool with first-run films for a super low ticket price!

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I spent a fair amount of ink recently jibber-jabbering about my time working at the Sno-White drive in. Long-time residents have many fond memories of the donuts and chili dogs served there. So it was good to learn that the abandoned eyesore has a new owner. If you missed it see last week’s story from Tyler Takeda’s front page feature for details.

I was personally so excited to hear the news. Last week the soon-to-be-retired Bobby Kahn, executive director of the Madera County Economic Development Commission, called me with this news.

He said the new owner intends to demolish the building to repurpose the property. But being mindful of the community’s emotional connection to the historic site, he wants to help someone rescue the classic neon sign bearing the restaurant’s name with a giant frosty cone.

I admit it would be fun to own such an iconic piece of Madera history. If I still had Fred’s five acres, I would be tempted.

My mom and I both worked there, and my dad often delivered their milk.

In addition to my family’s connections, both Fred and his father, Gordon, worked for a previous owner of the Sno-White at its restaurant food distribution center, Multi-Products. It was operated in a warehouse near the drive-in.

Anyone interested in buying the iconic sign should call the EDC at 559-675-7768 to check availability and to contact the new owner.

• • •

This time next week is the Madera Fair. Again this year the annual event has a wide variety of amusements with something for the whole family.

The junior livestock sale helps young ranchers sell the project animals they have been tending to for months. The hordes of blue FFA jackets and green clover 4-H kids descend on the fairgrounds to present their animals to be sold at auction.

Prior to showing the animals, they bathe and feed their livestock at the fairgrounds. They display their animals to potential buyers which is always fun to see. Showing large animals is no walk in the park. The kids work hard to feed the animals to get them to grow as much as possible. Sold by weight, the heavier the animal, the more money it can command at auction.

When I met Fred, he had a flock of 250 Hampshire sheep. Through the years many of his sheep were sold to 4-H and FFA members. A couple even won Grand Champion trophies.

When he was 14 years old, my late husband had a “Farm-Kid,” driver’s license and showed his prize “Hamps,” at fairs up and down the valley.

I’ve always loved the Madera Fair. When I was a kid, I would save my egg and babysitting money all summer to spend at the fair.

This year’s concerts at the Madera are impressive. The Marshall Tucker Band will play on opening night of the Table Mountain Concert Series.

A treat for Country Music fans singer Rodney Atkins will be performing on Friday night.

On date night, Saturday fan favorite The Beach Boys bring to Madera the California cool surf sounds so many of us grew up on.

During the 1960s this band of cousins, brothers, and friends issued in an era of surfboards, woody wagons and the classic surfer hair that most of the country embraced. And please, who could forget the girls in bikinis adding beauty and color to the seashore?

Even after all these years, these talented musicians create the sound that still delights audiences of all ages and especially us “Baby Boomers.”


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