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Community: Muir auditorium brings back special memories

Community: Muir auditorium brings back special memories
Carson Smith, left, from Nickelodeon, and John Muir Middle School principal Greg Miller talk about “The Really Big Show” benefit that will raise funds to upgrade the Allan H. Burnside Auditorium.
(Photo by David Laurell)

John Muir Middle School’s auditorium holds some special memories for me. When I was 4, my older sister had sewn matching dresses for us in her clothing class, and we modeled them in a fashion show on the auditorium stage.

Years later, when I attended Muir, Allan Burnside was the principal. Not your grim or stoic school administrator; Burnside was cool.

He was approachable. He would start up a conversation with the students passing in the halls and had a jovial manner. He also drove a wood-paneled station wagon, circa 1940, known as a Woodie. It was popular with the surfers in the 1960s. He parked it in the faculty parking lot and I remember walking by it in awe with my friends.

So it does my heart good to know that the auditorium has been named after him and that there is a campaign kicking off this month to raise funds to modernize the Allan H. Burnside Auditorium. This is where Muir students showcase their talents in dance, theater and band, gather for assemblies and participate in culmination ceremonies before heading off to high school. It is also a venue for community groups to hold their meetings.


Muir officials announced this week that donations have just been received from community partners to benefit “The Really Big Show” on Feb. 22. Nickelodeon, Burbank’s giant in children’s TV entertainment, has donated $1,000, and Logix Federal Credit Union, one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, has also donated $1,000.

The show features performances by Muir students and special guests representing Burbank High School choirs, bands, dance and theater/drama productions. There will also be a live auction offering special tours and a live TV taping.

The $50 VIP preshow and reception will start at 5:30 p.m. and will include music by Burbank High School’s Third Street Jazz Combo and a silent auction. General admission tickets are $25 and the show begins at 7 p.m.

For more information, go to or call (818) 558-5320, Ext. 22863.



JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at