Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pass the Popcorn! New Resident Theater Debuts at Sunny View

The scent of hot buttered popcorn fills the air as residents relax in their large, overstuffed reclining bright red leather seats anxiously waiting for the lights to dim and the heavy leather wrapped studded door to close. It’s not only movie time at Sunny View but a theater experience like no other.

With its surround multi-speaker audio system, 145-inch HD screen and reflective acoustical panels, Sunny View’s new movie theater provides a state-of-the-art experience, yet harkens back to a time when ushers with red flashlights wore tuxedos and double features were the norm.

“I never dreamed Sunny View could build something like this,” said resident Gloria Burns. “This is a true theater experience in so many ways.”

The 21-seat theater was made possible due to the generosity of former resident Bruce Watts and current resident Mitch Wendell who financed the project through the Sunny View Foundation. Movie lovers, sports fans and music enthusiasts, Bruce and Mitch wanted to create an immersive experience where residents could enjoy the latest releases as well as classic films, sporting events and concerts.

“I’m most interested in classical music,” Mitch said, who hosts a regular classical concert series in the theater. “But this theater is perfect for all sorts of events including lectures and even guided meditation.”

The theater is able to stream the latest movies through Apple TV and Netflix and is
equipped with a DVD and Blue-Ray players to give residents choices ranging from classics like Casablanca and My Fair Lady to contemporary films like La La Land and The Shape of Water.

Future plans for the theater are to integrate voice first technology so residents can easily operate controls and make viewing choices. A theater lounge with a snack bar is scheduled to open in the fall.

“Enhancing resident life is one of the Sunny View Foundation’s goals,” said Sunny View Foundation Development Director Bill Penrod. “I’m pleased that our generous residents could make a project like this come to life.”


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Longevity of Kingsley Staff Reflects Culture of Community

Jeannie Weber
The year was 1984 and Los Angeles was in the middle of hosting the summer Olympics, when Jeannie Weber, who had just moved to town, took a part-time job as the Kingsley Manor Retirement Community receptionist on the night shift.

Thirty-five years later, Jeannie, who long ago migrated from the front desk, is the director of sales and marketing. “Kingsley has become my second home,” she smiles, looking over at the rose bushes outside her office. “Who could ask for a nicer place to work? And I just fell in love with the residents – they’re my extended family.”

But Jeannie is far from an anomaly among the Kingsley staff. As of this year, the community has 14 team members celebrating 25 years of employment or more.

“I don’t even think of it as work anymore,” said Emyrose Lacuesta, director of health 
Emyrose Lacuesta

“It’s where I live. It’s where I enjoy being.” Starting her career at Kingsley 31 years ago, Emyrose worked her way up from a part-time charge nurse to director.

“You really get to know the residents, and their families,” she said. “I love that part of it. I miss them when I go on vacation.”

Both Jeannie and Emyrose had a background in their chosen field when they arrived at Kingsley, but for 30-year veteran Angela Pineda, who was still in high school when she started, Kingsley was where she discovered her calling. “I started off working in the dining room part-time,” she said. Later, Angela received her CNA training and was hired in the Care Center. Now, as the life enrichment director for the Care Center she’s found her passion.

“I had no idea when I started here how much I would love coming up with fun, engaging experiences for residents,” Angela said. “I love that I’m contributing to a sense of community. I love the creativity involved.”

“I’m not surprised about the longevity of our employees,” said Executive Director Shaun Rushforth.

“Word gets out that Kingsley Manor is a great place to work and live. We’re a family here.”