Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

“D Street: A Documentary” to Premier October 20th

Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough stands in front of the historic Depot building during the fundraiser for the D Street documentary. Perris, he says, “has what a lot of cities wish they had” in terms of historical buildings
Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough stands in front of the historic Depot building during the fundraiser for the D Street documentary. Perris, he says, “has what a lot of cities wish they had” in terms of historical buildings.

The premiere of a movie documenting the history of Perris and the vital role that D Street played in its development will take place Oct. 20 at the City’s Regency Theater.

“D Street: A Documentary” is the result of more than a year of filming around Perris and interviews with longtime residents, including Mayor Daryl Busch and Riverside County Commissioner Marion Ashley, whose roots in the City date more than 70 years.

Much of the filming took place during Perris’ Centennial in 2011 and includes video taken when a time capsule was buried at City Hall as well as during festivals and celebrations throughout the year.
Hollywood filmmaker David Van Houten, a descendant of the Perris pioneer Hook family, began recording Perris’ history as a favor to local historians and residents.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch addresses the crowd at the fundraiser, saying D Street is where the City first took root and established itself
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch addresses the crowd at the fundraiser, saying D Street is where the City first took root and established itself.

But as he gathered more and more data about the City, he also learned more about himself and his family, which has ties to the Perris community dating back more than 120 years. The Hook family operated a mercantile at D and Seventh streets in the 1880s that sold everything from blue jeans to mining equipment.

Van Houten filmed more than 100 hours of Perris interviews and activities, which will be culled down to the final documentary, set to run 55 minutes.

Outtakes from the documentary will be donated to the historical museum and provide a priceless addition to City archives. 
Van Houten donated an estimated $28,000 for his services on the project.

The Perris Valley Historical and Museum Association held a fund-raiser Sunday to solicit $24,000 to market the film and pay for a
post-movie dinner at the Bob Glass Gym.

Attendees of the fundraiser watch a television screening of a brief segment of the film “D Street: A Documentary.”
Attendees of the fundraiser watch a television screening of a brief segment of the film “D Street: A Documentary.”

The fund-raiser at the 1892 Depot Building included a performance by folklorico dancers and the screening of a six-minute portion of the documentary for about 50 people. 

Resident historian Katie Keyes said “D Street: A Documentary” is set to premiere Oct. 20 about 5 p.m. at the Perris Regency Theater, 1688 Perris Blvd. Final ticket prices have not been set but Keyes said the price will be about $50 per person, which includes dinner and the chance to speak with Van Houten about the production of the film. Just 300 tickets are available for the premiere. High-definition Blu-ray DVDs also will be sold at the premiere.

“We expect to have a nice affair at the premiere,” Keyes said. “I am excited about the film. It will give a good overview of what Perris, was, is and will be in the future.”

A folklorico dancer performs during the fundraiser at the Perris Depot building
A folklorico dancer performs during the fundraiser at the Perris Depot building.

Mayor Daryl Busch said the documentary features more than D Street but it is appropriate to highlight the City’s historical corridor. Even before the City incorporated in 1911, D Street served as a focus of community life, with its business, hotels and shops.  The railroad through the City was built a few feet from D Street and Perris began as a train stop for the California Southern Railroad. The restored Victorian-era Depot Building served as the commerce center and economic hub of the City, from which millions of tons of potatoes were shipped around the world and the new multi-modal transit center will link Perris by bus and rail to Southern California.

“Everything emanated from here,” Busch said. “In recent years, the City has renovated and restored much of the original character to D Street. We’ve seen it come back. This documentary will provide a great sense of what it was and is. I am really pleased and proud.”

Supervisor Marion Ashley called the Perris Valley Museum “the
strongest museum in western Riverside County” committed to
“preserving the City’s past and proud of the legacy left behind by its founders.”

he Victorian-era Depot was renovated and reopened as a Perris Valley museum about three years ago
he Victorian-era Depot was renovated and reopened as a Perris Valley museum about three years ago.

“It makes me very proud that we are so committed to preserving our history,” Ashley said.
Perris City Councilman said that a person standing at D and Fourth Streets—the approximate center of Downtown—can look in any direction and see major progress completed in recent years. Look north, and take in the new Perris Station

Apartments under construction and the renovated art deco Perris Theatre. To the south are the new Mercado Apartments and the restored Bank of Perris. To the east lies a soon-to-be opened fire station and emergency operations center and a newly renovated shopping center. A glance west shows major street improvements.

“It is great to see this street revitalize itself,” Yarbrough said. “Perris has what a lot of cities wish they had. We’ve been able to keep, preserve and restore our historical buildings. That’s what makes this
City unique and vibrant.”

To purchase tickets for the Oct. 20 premiere of “D Street: A Documentary” or for additional information about sponsorships for the event, call 951-657-0274 or visit the website www.perrismuseum.com