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Historical Group Prepares For Fundraiser Kick Off
Amid various workmans materials in the lobby of its under construction IMAX facility, Galaxy Luxury+ Theatres spokesman Rich Holmer, right, discusses plans for a special sneak peek opening with members of the fundraising committee of the Riverbank Historical Society. The March 23 event will serve as a kick off for a campaign to raise money to build an annex to the Historical Museum, on Santa Fe Street in downtown. Ric McGinnis/The News


Last week the fundraising committee of the Riverbank Historical Society received a special tour of the still-under-construction IMAX theater being built at the Galaxy Luxury+ complex on Patterson Road.

The tour was in preparation for the special ‘sneak peek’ fundraiser at the new auditorium on Wednesday, March 23. The event will kick off a campaign to raise money to build an annex next to the Riverbank Historical Museum.

Members of the committee started up top, in the projection booth, looking down into the 404-seat auditorium, then went inside, some down to the main floor level to look back up three stories to where they’d just come from. Others tried out the comfortable chairs, similar to those in the other 12 theaters in the complex.

The group also discussed the celebration that night, where the reception might be held and how to set up the red carpet.

Filmgoers at the special event will be supporting the society and its building plans in one of two ways next week, according to committee members. The society is raising funds to build an annex next to its Historical Museum, a former Carnegie Library on Santa Fe Street in downtown Riverbank. The current building doesn’t afford the museum the ability to display many of the items in its collection, such as the first fire truck to serve the city of Riverbank, a 1918 Model T Fire Engine and other large items. Much of the displays and artifacts are filed away or in storage, according to committee members.

General admission tickets for the special showing of the film ‘Jurassic World’ are on sale for $30. For $125, VIP ticket holders will walk the red carpet, take home a personal photo from the event and attend a private champagne reception before the show. Also, they will be part of a VIP tour of the new IMAX auditorium and be escorted to reserved seating. VIP tickets are limited to just 60 seats, organizers said.

Tickets for the fundraiser are still available for purchase and will be until they are sold out. They’re at Farmers Insurance, 3313 Santa Fe (869-1100), and at O’Brien’s Supermarket, 6331 Oakdale Road (869-9050). Also, they’re available for sale on the Museum’s website,

The fundraising event will be a great opportunity for the community of Riverbank and beyond to not only be the very first to experience a movie on the new IMAX screen, before the general public, but also to learn about the Riverbank Historical Society and its mission to preserve the city’s rich history.

The grand opening of the IMAX theater will be held on Thursday, March 24, opening weekend of the film Batman vs Superman.

The tour was held on the morning of Tuesday, March 8. Later that evening, the committee appeared at City Hall, before the Riverbank City Council.

The Committee members introduced themselves to the council, then had two items on the agenda. After a brief discussion, the council approved a variance in the city’s sign ordinance to allow an IMAX sign to be installed at the facility that is larger than what the original permit called for. Contractors had mistakenly installed sign mounts as large as on other IMAX theaters. The Riverbank facility with be the only IMAX screen in the San Joaquin Valley.

The council ultimately found that granting the variance would not affect other businesses or be a problem for the public.

Earlier that day, construction workers were preparing the background and trim for the sign, in hopes of receiving the variance.

The second item concerned the basic concept for the museum annex, which was also accepted by the council.