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The Crowd: A century of hula and cinema

May 30, 2013|By B.W. Cook
  • Hugh Randolph, Carole Ann Ruoff, Jerry Ruoff, Patti Edwards, Joan Randolph, Bernice Edwards and Jim Edwards, III, celebrating Bernice Edwards' 100th birthday.
Hugh Randolph, Carole Ann Ruoff, Jerry Ruoff, Patti Edwards,…

As 100 guests arrived at the Balboa Bay Resort, two young gents stood at attention blowing traditional Hawaiian conch shells. Sam and Jack Christensen offered the spiritual island welcome to their great-grandmother Bernice "Bea" Edwards, honoring her 100th birthday May 22.

Edwards and her husband Jim, founders of the Edwards Theaters chain, moved to Newport Beach in the 1940s from the San Gabriel Valley. Their plan was to retire at the beach. Instead, they built their first theater in Costa Mesa in the 1960s, calling it the "Cinema." Fashion Island was their next project, and over the next 40 years the business grew to more than 100 locations in California, Texas and Idaho. It should be noted that Bernice Edwards was in charge of the décor and interior design of each and every theater.

On the occasion of her 100th birthday, this dynamic woman was surrounded by her three children and their spouses, Joan and Hugh Randolph, Carole Ann and Jerry Ruoff and Jim and Patti Edwards, along with nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. All of them were adorned with Hawaiian leis celebrating with Polynesian and Hawaiian dancers and a tropical feast fit for island royalty.

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The chosen theme was a natural, inasmuch as Bea Edwards has always had a love affair with the islands and has enjoyed a lifelong passion for dancing the hula. Ask anyone and they will tell you that she does it better than the best. Along with her dancing, Bea is still a regular at the gym, an avid painter taking art classes at Orange Coast College into her 90s, and she still drives herself to her office on a regular basis.

This special Edwards family milestone was shared with loving friends from her hula group, including Jane Sparks, Shirley Walk and Rose Burns. Also offering Hawaiian hugs were Polly and Tom Culp, Janet Terrell and Cliff Ronnenberg, Trisha and Don Barton and Stephanie Juarez.

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A serve for tennis

The Adoption Guild of Southern California launched the 52nd annual Roy Emerson Adoption Guild Tennis Classic on May 25 in Newport Beach. Opening rounds took place at the Palisades and Newport Beach tennis clubs with a lively Saturday evening reception that followed, welcoming some 450 guests to a balmy evening poolside soirée at the Newport Beach Tennis Club.

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