By Miriam Raftery
Photos: New magnolia tree and crowd outside; vocalist Stephanie Noriega and Mayor Bill Wells performing piano and vocal accompaniment of "Hallelujah" at grand opening of The Magnolia performing arts center
September 11, 2019 (El Cajon) – Community members from across the region flocked to the grand opening of The Magnolia performing arts center in downtown El Cajon yesterday. More than $8 million has been spent remodeling the former East County Performing Arts Center, which had been closed for a decade but has now blossomed anew.
As the setting sun sent a starburst shining through a newly planted magnolia tree out front, visitors inside saw renovations including a new VIP viewing area, multiple bars serving up food and beverages including cocktails, backstage dressing rooms, a shimmering new gold curtain and more.