Media Life: Auburn’s State Theater rolling out classic film series

Pickup owner finds original way to show his love for community; Auburn shows its love for Gilbert; Sacramento's FOX40 news expanding
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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It turns out this weekend’s showing of “Food, Inc.” is just a sampling of the tasty film fare being cooked up for the State Theater in the coming year. The stately Downtown Auburn movie house is showing the food expose (along with a documentary on Cuba’s survival through self-sustenance in recent years) at 7 p.m. Friday through Monday. It’s a return to the venue’s movie roots after installation of a new projector and screen (as well as spiffed up sound system). The non-profit Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center organization, which owns the State, is using this weekend’s movie run to roll out a new Cinema at the State series that promises plenty of star power and classic movie moments. Fittingly, Italian film “Cinema Paradiso” – a nostalgia-tinged look back at a small town’s movie house – starts things off Sept. 17. It was a 1989 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film. Leaning heavily on some of the finest films over the past 40 or so years, the series includes 1959’s “Some Like It Hot” (Oct. 15) with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis; Woody Allen’s “Purple Rose of Cairo” (another film that revolves around an old-time theater); 1998’s time-warping “Run Lola Run” (Jan. 21); 1978 Oscar-winner for Best Picture “Annie Hall (Feb. 18); nouveau western “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (May 20), starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford; George Lucas’ breakthrough “American Graffiti” (June 17); and mind-bending sci-fi flick “2001: A Space Odyssey” (July 15). Master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock will be featured April 16 through 18 in a festival of some of his best films. Just remember the third Thursday of the month for classics at the 985 Lincoln Way landmark. SIGN OF AFFECTION You too can be the owner of your very own “Auburn” pickup for the bargain price of $55. Proud of his adopted hometown, Gary Vogt found a way to transfer that love of place in a tangible, chrome-plated way to his Tahoe when he was stopped behind a Chevy Suburban. Playing in his head with the “Suburban” lettering on the back, he realized that he could rearrange them and spell out the letters “A-U-B-U-R-N.” Inspired, Vogt asked a friend at Gold Rush Chevrolet about buying the “S-U-B-U-R-B-A-N” capital-letter set. He was soon in possession of the letter combination for $55, used a slide rule taped to the hatch to ensure a straight line, unpeeled the protective paper on the sticky side, and, voila, instant “Auburn.” Vogt fell in love with Auburn after flying in from Lancaster one day in 1985. He visited often after that, eventually made a vow he’d move here, and made the plunge in 2005. “I’ve never found anything about it I didn’t like,” Vogt said. In case you’re wondering, Vogt – who can tag rocket propulsion engineer, math teacher and master aircraft restorer to the end of his name – has also discovered the words “Drive Slo” tucked into the Silverado lettering. As for the remaining lettering from the Suburban to Auburn changeover – a ‘B’ and an ‘S’ – Vogt said he’ll keep them tucked in a drawer. AUBURN SHOWS THE LOVE For everyone who has sent in cards of encouragement to Gilbert Ortega, Auburn’s much-loved bicycling octogenarian, Norris Electric’s Anna Chiaratti says a heartfelt “thanks.” Gilbert is still housebound and down to 95 pounds but received an outpouring of support from his many friends. Some 60 cards and letters flooded in after Chiaratti made the callout last Friday in these pages to help give Gilbert’s flagging spirits a boost. He’s been sequestered in his apartment recovering from cracked ribs since a two-wheeled collision with a power pole. FOX40 EXPANDS KTXL FOX40 is launching two new additions to its news lineup. Starting Sept. 14, viewers will be able to tune in at 11 a.m. for a full hour of weekday updates with anchors Natalie Bomke and Joe Orlando. At 5:30 p.m. FOX will be offering a half-hour look at the day's breaking news with the anchor team of Donna Cordova and Jaime Garza. The 5:30 news will be on seven days a week, with the weekend team of Teri Cox, Rick Boone, Mark Demsky and Dennis Shanahan stepping in. The station already has FOX40 Live mornings and FOX40 News at 10 p.m. Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at or (530) 852-0232.