1980s-themed celebration marks library’s 40th

Play games at replica of Tilt arcade

TESTING THEIR SKILL— Lisa Frattali, library administration secretary, tries out one of the classic arcade games in the community room of the Grant R. Brimhall Library on Wednesday. The games, like “Pac-Man” and “Asteroids,” were put up as part of the library’s 40th anniversary celebration. MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers

“Get ready to dust off your leg warmers and jump-start your DeLoreans”—the Grant Brimhall Library is marking its 40th anniversary by celebrating the ’80s.

Library Services Director Jennifer Patterson shared those instructions during the Sept. 13 City Council meeting ahead of this week’s festivities, which kicked off Wednesday with an appearance by Brimhall himself.

The former city manager turned 84 this year.

“It’s been a glorious four decades,” Brimhall told the Acorn ahead of his appearance.

Opened in fall of 1982 at 1401 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks, the library was made possible by The Oaks mall, said Brimhall, whose name was added to the building on the day of his retirement from the city in February 1998.

“It was a total surprise. It’s a lot more than a gold watch,” he said.

When he was hired in 1977, the library was in a 7,000-square-foot building within the county library system.

NO QUARTERS REQUIRED—Librarian Natasha Buran plays one of the arcade games Wednesday in the community room of the Grant Brimhall Library. MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers

Brimhall said he felt, “the city should have a library that matched the academic achievement and intellectual capacity of its residents.”

But with the passage of Proposition 13, the county could not afford to expand. That’s when the city stepped up with funds made available by the opening of The Oaks mall.

“The facility is quite magnificent. It is an extraordinary blessing,” Brimhall said.

Because the library opened in the 1980s, Patterson said, staff made the call to turn the anniversary into an ’80s-themed celebration.

Grant R. Brimhall Library staff members Tracey Stockton, left, Lisa Frattali and Natasha Buran watch as Alina Savulescu plays “Ms. Pac-Man” in the community room at the Grant. R. Brimhall Library on Sept 21. MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers

Chris Stansbery, who works in building maintenance for the City of Thousand Oaks, plays an 80’s arcade game in the community room at the Grant. R. Brimhall Library on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the library’s community room was transformed into a replica of the former Tilt arcade at The Oaks mall, complete with games like “Pac-Man,” “Galaga” and “Space Invaders.”

No quarters are required.

The final hour Thursday was reserved for the 18-and-up crowd “so that you can have some childhood fun without the watchful eye of your kiddos,” Patterson said.

The arcade will be open till the library closes Sat., Sept. 24.

On Fri., Sept. 23, the library will host an ’80s-movie marathon, featuring “Annie,” “Rocky III,” “E.T.” and “Poltergeist.” The screenings on the library’s 16-foot movie screen will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, the celebration begins at 11 a.m. with live music by ’80s retro band “Bad Habit,” a bounce house for the kids and a community services fair.

Complimentary refreshments will be provided by the Habit Burger Grill and Kona Ice (while supplies last).

There will be an opportunity for visitors to record their memories of the library for an oral history project, in partnership with the Stagecoach Inn Museum.

From 2 to 4 p.m., Robin Britt from Community Conscience will be inside making balloon animals.

For more information on all the 40th anniversary activities, go to tolibrary.org.

Fred Hagh, owner of Arcade Rental Zone, sets up 80’s era arcade games in the community room at the Grant. R. Brimhall Library on Wednesday.