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Cinema goes solar

A slice of California’s rich cinematic history will soon be undergoing the solar treatment, the first cinema of its kind in the United States to do so.

The Fairfax 5 Theatres complex in the town of Fairfax will install a PV system, resulting in savings of more than $600,000 over its 30-year life span.

The complex is the first of its kind in America to go solar. Dave Corkill, founder of Cinema West, a leading California major motion cinema chain, has owned and operated the Fairfax 5 Theatres for more than13 years.


“I wanted a sustainable and renewable energy solution for the Fairfax Theatre,” he said. “Solar energy will not only help us offset our electricity costs, but will also reduce greenhouse emissions and propagate the environmental ideals of this progressive community. The Fairfax Theatre’s marquis is one of the first things you see when entering Fairfax. Now we are proud that it also represents clean energy.”

Ted Walsh, sales manager for SPG Solar, the company which manufactures the PV system, said: “Over its 30-year life, the PV system at Fairfax Theatre is expected to offset nearly 1,000 tons of greenhouse gases, including over 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to removing 180 cars off the road. As a resident of Fairfax myself, I am very excited to see Cinema West taking on an environmental leadership role in town. It’s an exciting addition to the community.”

The rooftop solar system is comprised of 42 solar modules tilted and oriented to the south for optimal production. A State rebate and Federal tax credit helped pay for nearly half of the total system cost, with the system expected to pay for itself in five years.