In 1932, when the impressive Grand Rex Theatre opened its doors in Paris, 80 doormen donned in white gloves and tails greeted guests for a night of glamour and luxury. A night at the theater was an occasion for fine attire, lively socialization, and entertainment. Today, although streaming services have taken technology to the next level and brought the big screen right into our living rooms, the experience is far from the same.
The Open Air Cinema Kamari in Santorini, Greece is a stunning outdoor theater that is surrounded by eucalyptus trees and offers a variety of locally produced wines and ice creams to enjoy alongside movie showings. The owner, Ina Koutroubilis, says, “Our guests tell us that the cinema is like an enchanting secret garden that harks back to the Golden Age of cinema. They come for the whole experience.”
The Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was constructed with details from Indian, Moorish, Islamic, and Byzantine architectural styles and is known today as Milwaukee’s Historic Movie Palace. Karina Henderson, marketing director of Milwaukee Film, notes, “You can watch a lot of movies on your screen at home, but the experience of going into a magnificent building, sitting in a dark theater, putting away your glowing screens for a couple of hours, and letting yourself be immersed in someone else’s story — that’s an amazing thing in this day and age.”
In a world of commercial-free marathon-watching, a night out at the theater is even more of a luxury than in the past. These otherworldly theaters around the world take entertainment to a higher level.
Open Air Cinema Kamari
Open Air Cinema photo by cinekamari.
The Oriental Theatre
Photo by Jake Hill / milwaukee film.
San Francisco, California
Photo by Charlie Villyard Photography.
Elevated with Flavor
Foreign Cinema in the Mission District of San Francisco, has been a San Francisco Chronicle “Top 100 Restaurant” for 18 consecutive years and is first and foremost a restaurant. Yet the added 35-millimeter films displayed nightly on their outdoor courtyard screen transforms the establishment into an intriguing combination. This pairing of food and film is not a new one, but one that continues to appeal to guests. Gayle Pirie, co-owner/co-chef of Foreign Cinema, explains that at Foreign Cinema, they united culinary and cinematic experiences in an honest way that proved successful.
“At the restaurant, visual media collides in such a way that the aesthetics of the screen flicker easily alongside the vibrancy of the plates,” says Pirie. “This pairing makes sense since the Mission neighborhood, where the restaurant is located, has a rich theatrical past. In the 1950s, it was the city’s hub for movie theaters. In many ways, we’re honoring this legacy while spotlighting the ideals and flavors that have come to define California cuisine.”
Foreign Cinema’s refined menu elevates the experience to an even higher standard. Keeping with seasonal and local ingredients common in California cooking, the restaurant also draws on inspiration from the Middle East and Africa. “Our sesame fried chicken with madras curry and spiced honey is a signature dish we nearly never take off the menu,” says Pirie.
Another example of food and film can be found at the Edible Cinema in London, England, where each guest is supplied with a variety of mystery boxes containing a small tasting menu tailored to specific moments in each film. The element of taste enhances the experience and entertainment without competing for attention.
The Paris Theatre was the last single-screen movie theater in Manhattan. With its history and overall classic atmosphere, many were highly disappointed when the doors closed in August 2019. According to The New York Times, the theater was a favorite among locals and tourists and was known for playing foreign films in their original languages.
Although the venue closed, a surprising new owner has reopened its doors — Netflix. The streaming company will use the theater for Netflix-original movie debuts, special events, and other screenings. The venue is over 70 years old and instantly brings to mind the Golden Age of cinema as it sits across from The Plaza in bustling Manhattan.
The Grand Rex Theatre
Top photo from Picasa.
Bottom photo courtesy The Grand Rex.
The setting of these theaters begins the journey for guests and sets the tone for the afternoon’s entertainment. For the Foreign Cinema, “The long corridor leads to an unexpected oasis, much like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, with a climactic courtyard scene illuminated by the flicker of our 35-millimeter projected films and juxtaposed with the roaring hearth centered in the main dining room, all encompassing the warmth of our community of diners,” according to Pirie.
When entering the Open Air Cinema Kamari, “You will find yourself in a lush green garden, surrounded by eucalyptus trees and fragrant night-blooming flowers. We usually play ’50s Jazz music and together with the decoration and lighting design, guests are already enchanted,” says Koutroubilis.
Glitz and Glamour
It was not uncommon for guests to arrive at theaters in sequined ball gowns and tuxedos at the start of cinema and for many years to follow. Although there are more casual options for viewing movies today — such as the living room sofa — the idea of luxury is still a defining component for theaters around the world. According to Henderson, “The grandeur of our building makes any movie into an event,” she says about The Oriental Theatre. “It’s uplifting to be surrounded by the beauty of a gem like the Oriental Theatre, and then sit down and watch an amazing film.”
Similarly, the decadence at The Grand Rex has stood the test of time and continued to draw guests in, only to convince them to return time and time again. Along with the balcony seating and fine finishes, the star-covered ceiling gives the illusion that guests are outside, adding to the glamour of the venue.
There was a sense of community and conversation that stemmed from early theaters when guests would dine, enjoy a film, and then go dancing afterward, making it a whole night of glamourous entertainment and socialization. The theater was a way to experience and learn about far away people and places, which not everyone had the opportunity to enjoy and is still a part of the appeal today. “In 2019, we brought 349 titles from 45 countries over 15 days to our film-loving Festival-goers. It’s truly a community event, and the Oriental Theatre is always busy during the Milwaukee Film Festival,” says Henderson. “Watching a film in a theater is still a special experience that you can’t replicate at home on your TV or tablet.”
On the promontory of the Sestri Levante peninsula in Italy, this villa is surrounded by the sea at 270 degrees, guaranteeing the maximum level of privacy.
It is a singular work of the architect Luigi Carlo Daneri, the most important Genoese exponent of Italian rationalism. “It is an original 1930s villa with the original floor plan and furniture pieces, intact,” says listing agent Niccolo Pigni of Engel & Volkers. “The villa is perfect as a representative house, with large marble saloons and clean modern lines — very charming.”
The designs, finishes, materials, furniture are very refined and of great value, but not ostentatious, a very Genoese trait. “My favorite room is the wonderful living space overlooking both the garden and Mediterranean Sea over the cliff,” says Pigni. “The completely restored original 1940s window lifting mechanism is just a rare piece of jewelry and allows you to completely open the living space over the terrace — exterior and interior areas merge together.
With the 5.6-acre park designed by the architect himself, it is one of the most surprising examples of “Mediterranean scrub” with ancient trees. Listed for 20.3 million euros, the property also showcases a swimming pool, patio, football field, four terraces overlooking the sea and a private beach (accessible only from the villa) — which all make this property unique on the Italian Riviera.
“If someone is in love with art, design or architecture this house is perfect,” says Pigni. “It’s a piece of art that should be collected and preserved.”
Stunning Bay Views!
Commanding wide angle vistas are ever present from this superbly elevated Sausalito hillside home. Most interior rooms are appointed with large view windows framing sailboats in the Sausalito Marina, the Mill Valley hills, and spectacular skyline panoramas. The continuous change of colors throughout the days and changing seasons, provides a joyous ambiance year round.
The first floor, with easy access from the street and carport, consists of delightful public rooms flooded with light through wall of windows. Pristine hardwood floors compliment this level, an ideal space for entertaining with viewing deck attached. The large dining area adjoins the living room with newly installed gas fireplace and hearth. The adjacent kitchen is highlighted with all new appliances and sunny breakfast area. A well placed powder room serves guests.
Lower level with 3 Bedrooms, 2 baths features panoramic bay views and attached exterior deck.
Master bedroom with en suite bath and walk-in closet.
2 Additional bedrooms and 1 full bath.
Workshop level presents potential for expansion.
4-car parking deck.
A desire for a serene coastal experience continues to fuel the luxury market in Orange County.
Orange County, California used to be defined by citrus groves and theme parks, but has evolved into one of the nation’s premier luxury residential markets. While some prices have begun to soften, several of the region’s top agents see strength moving into 2020.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties’ Mariann Cordova reports luxury sales activity eased in 2019, but submits low interest rates and a fundamentally strong economy provide a counterbalance to negative sentiment generated by political uncertainty. “When people are making money, they’re spending money,” insists Cordova, who reports coastal areas like Laguna Beach and Newport Coast hold value best, followed by prestigious inland gated communities like Shady Canyon and Coto de Caza. The agent currently lists a 9,400-square-foot Mediterranean estate — the seller is former hockey superstar Teemu Selänne — in Coto de Caza for $6.9 million.
“The luxury market has suffered more than any other sector,” maintains Surterre Properties’ Chris Valli, who notes the trend began at least two years ago. He suggests the Orange County market has been impacted by the new tax laws, which effectively penalize high-value/high-tax states like California, but also reminds clients the market is experiencing a natural cycle.
“For over five years we went straight up and buyers began thinking prices were getting too high,” says Valli, who expects activity to rebound in the second half of 2020. He believes buyers waiting on the sidelines will soon enter the market and reports election years are historically active. The agent currently offers a sleek 6,500-square-foot ocean-bluff home in Laguna Beach — the charming beach town is becoming a showplace for modern residential architecture — at $13.5 million.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SMITH GROUP
Newport Beach, a perennially fashionable community where yacht slips are as important as driveways, remains a strong market. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Tim Smith set the record last year for the most expensive sale on Newport Harbor, which he believes represents the quintessential luxury Orange County lifestyle — even more so than the region’s signature coastal bluffs. “There’s a connection to the ocean you experience when you live on the harbor that you can’t get anywhere else,” insists Smith, dubbing the area “Billionaires’ Bay.”
Characterizing the market as fragmented, Smith explains, “For new construction in great locations, we’re still setting records,” but acknowledges price pressures on less pristine properties. Smith currently offers a 9,609-square-foot, design-forward home in the oceanfront community of Corona del Mar for $24.995 million.
Jacqueline Thompson of Surterre Properties reports 2019 was among her best years and knows of many clients waiting to buy in 2020. “The number of international buyers, especially from China, has declined, but local money is very viable and results in many all-cash offers,” she says. Thompson concedes luxury purchasers still gravitate to the coast, and currently lists a two-estate compound on Newport Coast’s Pelican Point for $19.5 million. However, the agent closed two $11 million-plus cash transactions in Irvine’s amenity-rich Shady Canyon last year.
Orange County offers a wide range of properties, from glass-ensconced beach houses to palatial Mediterranean estates like La Casa Pacifica, listed by Compass’ Rob Giem for $57.5 million. While Thompson’s all-cash offers are illustrative, some agents insist that even super-affluent buyers can be motivated by low interest rates, choosing to put their own funds to work elsewhere. The cumulative effect of recent interest rate cuts, according to Coldwell Banker’s Smith, results in a 12-15 percent increase in purchasing power.
A star property itself, this private estate offers incredible attention to detail and elegant interiors that exude sophistication.
Patrick Fogarty of Hilton & Hyland represented the buyers, German national Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler and his new husband Omar Romero, who were eager to acquire this unique home. Fogarty says the home was on the market for less than a month and bought in under four.
Externally, the home is almost mysterious at first glance, as the long driveway affords complete privacy from the street. That mystery transitions into pure awe once the house is in full view, as Fogarty says the home’s proportions and classic design give it a grand feel that enhances with every meticulous detail. “The style is timeless rather than of the moment,” he says, adding that the overall aesthetic is tasteful yet opulent.
Built and developed by the seller, British property developers Ian and Richard Livingston, the estate greets visitors with a graceful motor court that features both trees and fountains. The front doors open to a striking grand entry with 30-foot ceilings and walls of marble, all opening up to a grand staircase and detailed floor plan. A strong yet beautiful harmony is felt in every room, from the dramatic kitchen to the tasteful master bedroom and baths. Interestingly, Fogarty notes that though “the home is grand in scale, [it] still manages to feel like a home.” Other features of this estate include a master wing, gym, theater, guesthouse, staff quarters and bocce court. The expansive backyard also boasts an ozone pool that highlights the perfect California indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
Only approximately five minutes from Rodeo Drive, the 8-bedroom, 11-bath home remarkably reflects a sense of tranquility and serenity, allowing the new owners to relax with complete privacy. The blend of rich landscaping and natural materials, such as stones, wood, steel, and brass, also enrich its character and depth, making it a true sanctuary.
Photos by Berlyn Photography 2019.
Want to learn how to become the real estate industry’s go-to professional? Ryan Avery is the expert you’ve been looking for.
Emmy award-winning journalist, two-time best-selling author and world record holder, Ryan Avery, was announced as the keynote speaker at this April’s 18th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat, where he’ll share his strategies on how to Go from A to THE® in luxury real estate.
Through effective storytelling techniques, Avery will encourage the audience to become the real estate industry’s go-to professionals by identifying what makes them different from their competition and transforming their communicating strategies, as well as their mindset.
“It is no longer acceptable to offer A product, A solution or even be A leader,” says Avery. “Today’s consumers, employees and followers want THE product, THE solution and THE leader to follow.”
At 25-years-old, Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking, after going up against over 300,000 contestants from 116 countries and winning the World Championship for Toastmasters International in 2012. Since then, he’s delivered more than 500 keynote speeches in over 30 countries around the globe.
The Spring Retreat will take place from April 19 to 22 at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Avery
Known as the King of Pop Art, L.A.-based artist Nelson De La Nuez is one of the most sought-after pop artists working today. His work is regularly exhibited at prestigious art fairs, such as Art Basel Miami and Art Central Hong Kong, as well as promoted through partnerships and private collections, including a series of works for Warner Bros. to commemorate The Wizard of Oz’s 70th anniversary.
In an interview with De La Nuez, he discusses how the incorporation of images from American pop culture, today’s advertising, high-end branding and more have strongly influenced his artwork since the 1980s.
What kind of memories do you have from your childhood?
I was born in Havana and I came here to Southern California when I was seven years old, started first grade here. I still remember Havana, which I can remember back to when I was three years old. I took it all in. Fond memories of going to the beach, riding my bicycle around the neighborhood, doodling in the backyard.
How did your childhood affect you later on as a person, as an artist?
Well I’ve always been an artist, ever since I can remember. That kind of kept me entertained for hours, I would always get lost with [my art]. I love sports, but art has always been there for me. It was my escape. It was just a way to get away from everything.
Do you still use art to get away, now that it’s your career?
I’m always thinking 24/7 about what I am I gonna do, about ideas — so what I do is I jump on and go motorcycle riding and that kind of helps me come back again and revisit a piece or an idea, and look at something differently. What I was looking at a half hour ago looks different now, since I’m in a different state of consciousness, and I get to relax.
The Good Life
What kind of themes do you see from your childhood that are presented in your art now?
Most of what I do today is rooted in American themes from my childhood. I remember coming here [to America] and I remember seeing on TV the first Superman, TV commercials, the mascots — it all just spoke to me and I just absorbed it like a sponge.
How did these themes develop into your style?
The reason why I’m doing pop art is because of everything I observed early on when I came to this country. Living in
California is like living in a fantasy land when you come from a different country. There’s billboards, commercials, advertising, and you never know where the ideas come from. When I really think back, a lot of what I do today is really a reflection of what I was thinking and experienced when I was a kid.
Aside from your childhood, are there trends or present-day themes that inspire you?
I’m inspired by everything, literally. Every mundane object that you could think of I will look and see something there that I can maybe create into a piece of artwork. Whether it’s a billboard or a magazine ad, or an elusive train [of thought] I had the day before, I’ll ride it all the way down. I am really a byproduct of everything I’ve observed or experienced in my entire life. So I have this database in my subconscious where I can draw from.… Everything is art for me. It doesn’t necessarily need to be hanging on a wall, it could be fashion, it could be a song; everything is just an inspiration.
Corum Bubble Martini Watch
How does your art coincide with the clientele you usually work with?
Each partnership that I’ve done is
different, basically all with high-end brands. Each of them is unique and different; I just love working with high-end brands because it just puts my art on a different level and exposes me to a lot more people. Basically it provides a plateau to take my work to the next level and having the audience take a look at my work in a different way. That’s my audience, it’s always been a very well cultured, well traveled group that love high-end brands. It’s an audience that know what they want and how to express themselves, and they do that with my art.
What do you like most when people view your art in various forms?
I love when people react immediately. That kind of gives me a great deal of comfort. You put in all this energy and hard work and you don’t know what to expect. And they usually say “Yes, that’s the painting for me,” because it’s got legs, it speaks not just to them, but to a mass audience — it makes them happy, makes them smile, sometimes it makes them laugh. They know the perfect place that they want this for in their home. Some of them are drawn to a specific piece for no reason at all; they just relate to it.
Upper Left: First Class Girl – LA Art Show 2019
Bottom Left: High Maintenance (Left) and Yacht Life (Right)
Above: Chanel No. 5 (Black)
What’s a project you’d love to work on in the future?
I would love to design something like an entire hotel design, the colors, the furniture, the wallpaper. The other thing that I would really love to do is work with a cruise ship to design their rooms, or design the entire ship using my art. That’s kind of what I get excited about most, getting to do [art] on a large massive level, where it’s not just a small project, but a huge undertaking, to take it to another level.
Any advice for aspiring artists?
The number one piece of advice I can give is that you have to be committed to your craft. You need to find out who you are and what message you want to put out into the world, then you have to be good enough and clever enough and have something unique and different. You can’t just be a part-time artist, you have to do it full time and it takes a while.… Good art is subjective, but when you have people paying sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars for your art, you know that you’ve done something right.
CIPS, CME, SRS, CNE, TRC
Centre City Properties
220 West “G” Street, Suite A, San Diego, CA 92101
619.252.1944 | Trudy@TrudyStambook.com | www.TrudyStambook.com | CA BRE# 00694195
Renown for discreet, individualized client service, Trudy Stambook is a key resource for real estate clients and those actively engaged in the business, development and cultural community in San Diego. First named among the nation’s elite luxury real estate agents back in 1995 by Unique Homes Magazine, and recognized annually ever since.
• Over 30 years of experience as a luxury real estate professional
• Over 20 years of worldwide marketing in 85 countries
• Representing both Buyers and Sellers
• Repeatedly voted Five Star “Best in Client Satisfaction” by readers of San Diego Magazine
Capturing the essence of sophisticated urban living, this extraordinary, one-of-a-kind Pinnacle top tier residence is resplendent in custom designed finishes and panoramic views. Nearly 3,000 sq ft of impeccably crafted living space, gleaming marble floors, walls of glass, glamorous entertaining areas yet a finely tuned haven for day-to-day living. Revel in the best vantage point in the city.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
111 Corporate Dr., Suite. 210, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694
Phone: 949-307-4040 | email@example.com | www.marianncordova.agent.bhhscalifornia.com
Mariann is a multi-award-winning Realtor and marketing expert with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Her goal always has been successful marketing of residential properties, employing professional ethics, sound planning, persuasive skills and a strong support system. With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and a certificate of interior design from the Los Angeles Design Center, Mariann carries years of in-depth real estate and current market knowledge. Her fluency in English and Swedish and working knowledge of Norwegian, Danish and German are valuable assets in assisting international clients and those looking to relocate.
Listing by Mariann Cordova
John Fairbanks & Marion Fairbanks
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, The Fairbanks Group
333 Village Main Street, Suite 670, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
626.398.9000 | 626.390.1000 | Est8homes@aol.com | www.TheFairbanksGroup.com | CalBRE #00972895 | CalBRE #01009669
With combined Real Estate experience of more than 60 years, The Fairbanks Group share a passion for their profession. John Fairbanks and Marion Fairbanks continue to bring international recognition for their people-centered, results driven professionalism. Having earned membership in the Society of Excellence and the International President’s Elite, they represent the top 1% of the company’s sales force, both domestic and international. Much of their business is repeat and referral from satisfied individuals. Always able to provide exceptional service, John and Marion are available to exceed your needs with their aggressive marketing and astute negotiating skills, coupled with a personal interest in their clients’ real estate concerns, mean results for their clients. These strengths continue to maintain John and Marion as top performing agents in the San Gabriel Valley for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for more than 30 years.
Listings by John Fairbanks & Marion Fairbanks
1955 Brigden Road, Pasadena, ca
A mountain backdrop, exquisite facade with brick accent, stately front porch and elegant curb appeal is only the beginning of this newly redesigned and renovated residence located in Pasadena’s prestigious Brigden Ranch! Offering more than 3,000 square feet of living space including 4 bedrooms (2 master suites), 4 baths, a formal living room with fireplace, a family room with Napoleon fireplace, an office, breakfast area and a chef’s delight of a kitchen. The backyard is an entertainer’s dream with an outdoor barbecue!
Offered at $1,750,000