The independently-owned art theater has been a fixture in Downtown Livermore since 1964 and is known for hosting community events, showing independent films and "not your big-budget films."
"I think the Vine is incredibly important to the city of Livermore and the Tri-Valley as a whole," said Kenny Way, part owner of the Vine Cinema and Alehouse. "Being around for (almost) sixty-five years, there is just generations of people that tell me that they watched their first movie here, or I went on a date here. It just has so much history."
The Vine Cinema and Alehouse closed their doors on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"I thought it would be a two to four week closure," said Way. "We thought get everybody healthy to come on back but it hasn't happened yet."
RELATED: Coronavirus Kindness: East Bay youth organization creates free storefront to provide food to local community
Owners of Vine Cinema had to adapt quickly during a challenging time for movie theaters and decided to pivot to a curbside concession stand.
"This is the main thing that we were doing to keep the lights on. It was our sole source of income," said Way. "It was out of desperation and we had to get creative to survive. We shifted to fair and carnival-style treats, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, all kinds of fun stuff that you are not getting anywhere around here. It was great to see regulars and new people alike that wanted to support us by also getting fun treats."
Expecting a few hundred dollars, the curbside concession stand brought in fifteen-thousand dollars the first weekend and helped the Vine Cinema and Alehouse survive the first four months of the coronavirus shutdown.
Way noticed when kids started going back to school, the weekend sales "started to level out and started to go down."
Entering the fifth month of closure, Way decided to reach out to the community for help.
"We started a GoFundMe campaign when we determined five months into this that we needed help," said Way. "We had many people tell us that we should start a GoFundMe but I held off on that until I really, absolutely felt it was necessary."
SAVE THE VINE: East Bay community comes together to support Livermore’s beloved Vine Cinema & Alehouse amid COVID-19.— ABC7 Melissa Pixcar (@MelissaABC7) September 2, 2020
Airs tonight on 🔤7️⃣📺 pic.twitter.com/ohHvxKPngO
Way was overfilled with joy with amount of support he was receiving from his community.
"The response was so overwhelming. We hit $40,000 within 24 hours and within two days we came close to hitting our goal," said Way. "I was just in awe of our supporters and the community in general and just truly, truly humbled."
RELATED: East Bay artist turns pictures of pets into one-of-a-kind pieces of art to raise money for animal shelters
In less than a month, the GoFundMe Campaign has raised close to a hundred-thousand dollars.
"At this point we will be able to get through to March without reopening," said Way. "Once we saw how well the GoFundMe was being supported, it just really reinforced how important we are to the city. The overwhelming support has just been astonishing and we are just truly grateful."
To donate to the Vine Cinema and Alehouse, visit their GoFundMe Campaign.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic hereRELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- From salons to dinner parties:Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get aCOVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- COVID-19Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic