The Alameda Theatre is restored

May 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
One of those grand glorious art deco movie palaces from the 1930's is making a comeback. The Alameda Theatre has been lovingly restored. There is a gala party Wednesday night with the new Indiana Jones film screening at a minute after midnight.

It is simply stunning. A masterful recreation of the way the Alameda Theatre looked when it opened in 1932. The grandeur gilded art deco abounds, except there are modern touches like the seats.

The theatre was designed by Timothy Pflueger who also created the Paramount and the Castro. 2,200 people could sit in the main auditorium. The theatre flourished, then folded with its doors closing in 1979. It became a roller rink and a gymnastic club. The city bought it to bring it back as a movie theatre which has been a seven year project.

"One of the key cornerstones of their plan has always been to return this theatre to an operating movie house" said Leslie Little, from Development Services.

The city built a parking garage and Kyle Connor added a seven-screen Cineplex next door that makes it financially viable. He runs it all.

"Just a special place to come and see a movie that isn't going to be matched anywhere else because of the historical aspect of this building, along with the modern cineplex next to it. But one without the other doesn't work," said Connor, a theatre developer and operator.

He's faithfully restored it, even saving some original carpeting and recreating its design. In addition, some ornate pieces have returned.

"Mysteriously some light fixtures that were original to this theatre appeared one day," said Little.

This is personal for the mayor whose great aunt used to work here. She sees this as the center of Alameda's revitalization of downtown.

"That's what we're trying to do. Bing Alameda back to what it was in the past," said Mayor Beverly Johnson.

So these original doors will be opening again just like they did nearly 75 years ago and you're invited to an open house with free films and tours through Saturday.

Alameda Theatre: Click here


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