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Updated: 21 hours 13 min ago

Pasadena Company Raises $18 Million to Expand Commercial Applications for AI, 3D Visualization Tech

Thu, 2021-04-15 11:25

A Pasadena-based company specializing in developing artificial intelligence analytics and visualization solutions has raised $18 million in funding as it prepared to expand its presence in the commercial marketplace, the organization announced Wednesday.

The capital was raised through Series B funding, one of the stages in the capital-raising process of a startup, Virtualistics said in a written statement.

“The funding will be applied to expand Virtualitics’ business with the defense industry as well as accelerating and increasing engagements in commercial markets, including use cases in healthcare, finance, industrial IOT, and motorsports with several Fortune 500 companies,” the statement said.

The company also announced that North Sounds Partners Chief Investment Officer Brian Miller had joined Virtualistic’s Board of Directors.

After enjoying success with military contracts, Virtualistics founder and CEO Michael Amori said the company hopes to continue with government work, as well as expand into other industries.

“Our mission is to enable smarter data-driven decisions through our technology, combining simple-to-use AI and 3D data visualization,” he said. “This funding will enable us to further improve and differentiate our platform, expand upon our success to date enabling the DOD to take advantage of AI systematically at enterprise scale, and build our go-to-market resources for key commercial markets.”

Company co-founder and CSO Ciro Donalek said Virtualistics was working to make emerging technologies more accessible to the general public.

“We are making the black box of AI more transparent for all users through explainability, advanced visualization and data storytelling,” he said. “With this new capital, we will be able to further expand our talented data science and engineering teams and more quickly deploy all the exciting new features in our roadmap.”

More information on Virtualistics is available on the company’s website at

SoCalGas Invites Area Restaurants to Apply for Pandemic Relief

Wed, 2021-04-14 05:54

Southern California Gas Co. Tuesday invited Los Angeles County restaurants to apply for pandemic relief through the California Restaurant Foundation’s Restaurants Care Resilience Fund, which was co-founded by the utility.

Qualifying restaurants can apply for a $3,500 grant to help them rebound from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to SoCalGas, the program is expected to help about 125 eateries in L.A. County pay for things like payroll and hiring new employees.

The Resilience Fund applications will be open through April 18 and can be found at

“We know that restaurants have a lot going on right now, so we wanted to make this application as simple as possible. It should take about 30 minutes to complete and we have checklists and tools available on our website to help,” said Alycia Harshfield, executive director of the California Restaurant Foundation.

The Restaurants Care Resilience Fund is part of a statewide effort between the California Restaurant Foundation and energy companies, with a focus on long-term resilience for small restaurants that have struggled the most during the pandemic. In addition to the $3,500 grant, restaurants will receive one year of support services and resources to improve their businesses for the long term.

Grants are available to single-unit restaurants with 50 or fewer employees. To qualify, the restaurant must be a SoCalGas customer, currently open, and have experienced a revenue loss of at least 20% from 2019-2020.

“We are proud to partner with the California Restaurant Foundation to support small business in one of the hardest hit industries by the pandemic,” said Andy Carrasco, vice president of communications, local government and community affairs at SoCalGas. “By investing in the long-term success of local restaurants, we can also preserve jobs and help our communities thrive.”

In addition to supporting the Restaurant Care Resilience Fund, the utility has donated more than $4 million to nonprofit organizations to support the region’s workforce, feed the hungry and provide bill assistance to customers as part of COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Pasadena’s ArcLight Cinema in Paseo Colorado Won’t Reopen

Tue, 2021-04-13 06:13

The ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres chains, which shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, will not be reopening to moviegoers, the parent company announced Monday.

In Pasadena, the company operated a movie theatre in The Paseo shopping mall, at 300 E. Colorado Boulevard.

“After shutting our doors more than a year ago, today we must share the difficult and sad news that Pacific will not be reopening its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations,” the Decurion Corp. said in a statement posted to “This was not the outcome anyone wanted, but despite a huge effort that exhausted all potential options, the company does not have a viable way forward.”

The ArcLight locations include the iconic Pacific Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and five other Los Angeles locations.

Deadline reported that sources told them the company was planning to turn the keys back to its landlords as part of a negotiation on outstanding leases.

The announcement doesn’t rule out a sale of the chain, but the company declined requests for additional comment.

The move comes despite expectations by some industry officials that local theaters could allow 100% capacity even before Gov. Gavin Newsom’s no- more-tiers policy takes effect June 15.

The company thanked its employees and all those who enjoyed films over the years.

“To all the Pacific and ArcLight employees who have devoted their professional lives to making our theaters the very best places in the world to see movies: we are grateful for your service and your dedication to our customers,” the statement read.

“To our guests and members of the film industry who have made going to the movies such a magical experience over the years: our deepest thanks. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you.”

The Hollywood Arclight, the historical version of which featured heavily in director Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” was one of the highest-grossing movie theaters in America, according to Deadline.

Jon M. Chu, the director of “Crazy Rich Asians ,” called the closure of the ArcLight “what sad news.”

“I loved this theater,” Chu tweeted. “And I had my first premiere for my first movie #StepUp2TheStreets there. I snuck out of the movie early so I could cut a piece of the red carpet out and keep it. It sits on my desk.”

Rian Johnson, who directed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and received a best original screenplay Oscar nomination for “Knives Out,” tweeted, “Every single person who worked at the ArcLight loved movies, and you felt it. Sending love to every usher, manager and projectionist who rocked that blue shirt and made it such a special place.”