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Hollywood Bowl sunrise service canceled

April 1, 2010 at 11:24 PM

LOS ANGELES, April 1 (UPI) -- A tradition dating back almost 90 years is being interrupted this year with the cancellation of the Hollywood Bowl Easter Sunrise Services, organizers said.

Trina Herrmann-Boychenko, president of the group that organizes the service, said the recession and a dearth of donor support caused the cancellation, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

"It's terribly heartbreaking," Herrmann-Boychenko said.

The service -- which was first held near the Hollywood Bowl in 1919 and was moved to the facility in 1921 -- began as a gathering for film stars. Through the years, it has gained popularity as a non-denominational Easter event, funded in part through public and corporate donations.

Herrmann-Boychenko would not disclose the cost of staging the service but she said it is comparable to "putting on a rock concert" or similar big production.

The event typically attracted audiences of 12,000 to 17,000 in the past but in recent years that number has dwindled to about 8,000, Herrmann-Boychenko said.

This is not the first time the service was canceled. It was suspended for five years in the 1990s and for two years in 2004-2005 because the facility was undergoing renovation, the newspaper said.

"We will be back in full force with our traditional service next year," Herrmann-Boychenko said.

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