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Free peek of ‘Sinbad’ opens season

Jackson Bell

An estimated 2,500 people helped kick off the Outdoor Picture Show’s

second season Wednesday night, filling the IKEA Courtyard to capacity

for a sneak preview of DreamWorks’ soon-to-be-released animated


movie, “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.”

Media City Center, IKEA and the city sponsored the festivities,

which included free food, face painting and performances from a



Brian Gartland, senior marketing director for Media City Center,

said the opening-night attendance was more than twice of the average

attendance last year.

“We wanted to bring a community event into downtown Burbank,”

Gartland said. “And since the first year was very successful, we

decided to expand the area to increase participation.”

Gartland was instrumental in convincing DreamWorks to play the

unreleased movie for two reasons: to attract more people to the mall


and to give back to the community.

Burbank resident Dianna Encarnacion said she appreciated the

effort put into the event.

“I think it’s a good thing that DreamWorks gives us a [free sneak

preview],” she said. “And it should be almost a right for us since

the studios are all around.”

Encarnacion, who lives a few blocks from IKEA, brought her

7-year-old daughter, Nicole, to the screening because she wanted to


see the movie before its theatrical release.

“Besides, what else would we do on a Wednesday night?” she added.

Shadow Hills residents Sheri and Bret Mersola, owners of The

Batcade batting cages in Burbank, brought their children, Savannah,

8, and Jacob, 4, to escape middle-of-the-week boredom.

"[We came] because it’s fun to do something different, to grab a

blanket, get cozy and be outdoors during the summertime,” Sheri

Mersola said.

But not everyone in the audience was comfortable. Once the

bleachers in the courtyard reached their 1,000-seat capacity, viewers

either had to stand or sit on blankets or lawn chairs.

“It’s kind of amazing how people keep coming and coming,” said

Hollywood resident James Caliri, who attended with his wife, Evelyn,

and 2-year-old son, Lucas. “I don’t know where everyone will fit.”