The Maverick Theater, located at E Walnut St. in Fullerton, is reopening Thursday April 15, welcoming back guests with a comic book reading of The Amazing Spider-Man beginning April 30.
State health officials announced that California will allow indoor concert halls, theaters, and sports venues to reopen starting April 15. Some theaters, such as Curtis Theatre in Brea and the GEM Theater in Garden Grove announced plans of reopening to the public but many remain temporarily closed or solely virtual.
There will be a total of seven actors performing the reading live. Five of them will be reading their scripts while the other two actors will be in what’s called the “pit.” These two will be creating sound effects—known as foley sound effects—in sync with the comic art projections the audience will be watching on screen. The performance will also feature pre-recorded 60’s music.
Three Spider-Man comics will be read, and each should take about 15 minutes. The entire reading should last about 40-45 minutes with no intermissions.
The Maverick Theater is deeply rooted in Downtown Fullerton. Most of the voice actors who will perform went to Fullerton College including Steven Biggs who will play Stan Lee and J. Jonah Jameson, John Gaw who is the lead foley sound artist, and Kalinda Gray who will do all the female voices. Theatre owners Brian Newell and Jim Book are also alumni.
“The Maverick is a community theater and a big part of that community is the college,” Newell said.
According to Brian Newell, the comic book readings were supposed to happen in May 2020 but because of the pandemic, the event was put on hold. Now that the theater is reopening, the owners decided to continue with the same schedule. They wanted to play it safe and do something that wouldn’t require physical contact between the actors to make the public feel safe.
Masks and social distancing will be required. All of the actors on stage will also be wearing masks while maintaining social distancing and were vaccinated by choice as well.
Since the venue is not allowed to sell food and liquor inside due to state regulations, there will be a concession stand outside with snacks and alcohol available. Food and beverages will not be allowed inside the venue.
There are also two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials at The Maverick who make sure the theater is cleaned appropriately to meet health guidelines.
Tickets are $10 or $8 for students and children 13 and under. Purchases are available online. Due to regulations, the theater is able to sell no more than 25 tickets per show so seating is limited. All ticket holders must be residents of California.
The Maverick will be hosting comic readings until May 30. More information can be found on the theatre’s website. The Maverick hosts a number of other performances and events like The Rocky Horror Show and Night of the Living Dead.
Until the initial opening of the theater, the owners have much to prepare for including cleaning, stage set-up and rehearsals. Rehearsals begin April 12.