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By Tom Ferrall
Staff Writer 

New owner hopes to have Mission Theater hopping

 

Last updated 9/24/2018 at 9:14am

Shane Gibson photos

Roy Moosa, the new owner of the Mission Theater, is hoping to have a busy entertainment schedule at the historic downtown venue.

Roy Moosa, the new owner of the historic Mission Theater, hopes to have the downtown venue hopping once all the paper work is in place.

"The goal is to have something happening all the time," said Moosa, who is in the process of getting permits for live performances, wine and beer and food. "I'm working on getting permits so we can do anything we want."

Although Moosa plans to start his new endeavor by showing classic films, the theater will by no means be relegated to just showing movies.

"It can be used for concerts, parties and meetings," said Moosa. "If somebody wants to get married in a theater, it's available for that. The plan is to make it more of a community center with kind of a (Fallbrook) summer nights feeling where you come out and visit with your neighbors and have a couple of drinks and have a good time."

Since taking possession of the theater last month, Moosa has received several inquiries regarding use of the facility.

"I've met with two theatrical companies that do plays and I've met multiple times with a bluegrass group that wants to do bluegrass concerts," said Moosa. "CAST (theatre and dance) would like to do a program in December. A member of the Fallbrook Music Society came and played his violin here. I had a meeting with a light show guy who wants to look at it and see about doing a laser light show. I had a meeting with a pro wrestling guy who wants to see if they can do wrestling in here."

Moosa believes a busy schedule at the theater would be beneficial to downtown.

"What Fallbrook needs is something that will draw people from other areas here and a theater has the capability to do that," said Moosa, who is president of the Fallbrook Village Association. "And in coming here people will stop and have dinner and shop in the shops. It just spreads from there."

Owning an old theater seems appropriate for Moosa, who earned a master's degree in cinema at USC.

"I know films more than the average person, especially older films and the history of them," said Moosa, who is anxious to share classic films in an inviting setting that will allow people to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer in an old movie house built in 1946.

"I've asked myself, 'what's going to make somebody come here and watch a movie and pay to see something that's on TV,'" said Moosa. "What I think will draw them is the experience – seeing your neighbors and having a couple of drinks in this atmosphere. My goal is you're not just going out to see a movie, you're going out for an experience that evening."

Moosa said he has "spruced up" the theater with some painting but hasn't had to do any major work on the facility other than redoing the plumbing. Although he is likely a month or so away from showing a film to the public, he has been thinking about what to present on opening night.

"I thought maybe it should be a tribute to somebody who lived in Fallbrook and that's Frank Capra," said Moosa of the top film director/producer/writer who had an 1,100-acre ranch in Fallbrook and was the man behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. "So maybe the first film we show is one of Capra's films. I'm thinking It Happened One Night, a five-time Oscar winner with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It's a great film people would enjoy."

Moosa added that the Fallbrook Film Society, which has been resurrected after several years of dormancy, will have an office in the Mission Theater. "It's a perfect spot for them," said Moosa.

Moosa is both keyed up and anxious over his acquisition of the theater.

"It's exciting and it's also nerve-wracking because it's a gamble – you don't know if it's going to work," said Moosa. "We're counting on the fact that this is something people will enjoy, and the more you offer, the better it's going to be. That's why the beer and the wine and the food and the different types of performances."

Hornsveld Family had great run

Moosa purchased the Mission Theater from the Hornsveld family, which had owned the venue since 1993 and used it to stage performances by their CAST Productions. Patty Hornsveld said she and her husband, Hank, decided to sell the theater due to health issues.

"We never had movies, always live theatre performances," said Patty Hornsveld. "We had over 100 fantastic, fun-filled community theatre events over the past 25 years, from Scrooge every Christmas to the after school acting projects to summertime drama camps. We've made thousands of theatre friends during those years.

"My fondest memories will always be working with community members producing excellent, Broadway-quality shows, and that many of my talented family members worked and performed side by side with me," continued Hornsveld. "Over the years I had 12 of my nieces and nephews visit our summer drama camps and experience the excitement of live theatre. My husband too performed each year in our Living Last Supper, which was a powerful way for us to use the stage to spread the Gospel and our faith. That is what I will miss the most."

Hornsveld added that CAST Productions "is still alive and well" and now under the direction of her daughter, Jennifer, who plans to rent the Mission Theater stage for performances, recitals and drama camps.

"We've left the building, but not the community," said Hornsveld.

 

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