The lights were back on at the Reel Deal Saturday evening and the Hillstompers came in out of the rain to entertain guests at the 25th anniversary of Los Alamos Network. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos Network owner Allan Saenz with his family at Saturday’s event. Pictured with Saenz are his mother, Ileana, wife Christa, daughter Sophia and sons Noah and Wesley. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Among the guests at the 25th anniversary celebration for Los Alamos Network were, from left, Leo Jaramillo, Ericka Gorman, Sammi Owens and Bill Gorman. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
There has been a lot of anticipation in the community during the last few day, especially when posters were seen outside the former Reel Deal Theater. Then photos on social media showed the theater’s lights on, just as it was before it closed down, and there was lots of speculation.
On Saturday evening, at a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Los Alamos Network hosted by Allan Saenz, he announced the purchase of the Reel Deal, that it will reopen as SALA Los Alamos Events Center and will indeed keep its former use while also making some changes.
A few months ago, Saenz bid on a silent auction item at a Rotary Club of Los Alamos, which included a private movie screening for one winner and their friends in one auditorium at the Reel Deal theater donated by former Reel Deal owner Jim O’Donnell and Leadership Circle, LLC. Saenz at that time thought showing a movie for Los Alamos Network customers on the occasion of the company’s 25th anniversary would be a great thing to do.
Saenz met with O’Donnell about his silent auction purchase and after talking with O’Donnell and seeing the building empty, he went back to his office. One of his staff, Alicia Griego said, ‘Allan, you should buy the movie theatre”
“I said, no way, there is no way I can do that, and then I started researching and looking at many things, and I began to think it could work. In talking with many people, we see the theater reopening not only for movies but for many other things,” Saenz said. “That is the idea of the name SALA. Sala in Spanish is a room or an open space and SALA is going to have open spaces for different kinds of activities.”
He said in talking with members of the community, many ideas for the event center have come up, including watching Costa Rica play soccer in the World Cup! He said work is continuing on the project, but that yes, the theater will be open again.
Guests at Saturday evening’s event dined on food truck fare and were entertained by the Hillstompers before moving to one of the theaters where they saw a presentation on the 25 years of Los Alamos Network.
Saenz and Eric Burnside also announced the launching of a new website, firstname.lastname@example.org, which actually went live while everyone was in the theater, despite a power outage in town that affected part of the community.
The Los Alamos Reporter’s news will be featured on the new website.
The Hillstompers were in top form Saturday evening at the Reel Deal Theater. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Sammi Owens and Eric Burnside Saturday evening at the Reel Deal. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Claire Singleton dances with the Hillstompers Saturday evening. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Guests enjoy the music of the Hillstompers. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Allan Saenz presents an engraved gift to Jim O’Donnell Saturday evening in honor of his years of service to the community while running the Reel Deal theater. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos County Council Chair Randall Ryti and his wife Wendy Swanson at Saturday’s event. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Sara Eliav watches the Hillstompers Saturday evening at the Reel Deal. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended Los Alamos Network’s 25th anniversary celebration. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Pictured at the Reel Deal Saturday evening are, from left, Hans Herrmann, Chamber of Commerce Director Ryn Herrmann and Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation Executive Director Lauren McDaniel. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos County Broadband Manager Jerry Smith and his wife at Saturday’s event. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
A musician with the Hillstompers gets close to the audience. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com