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Old 08-29-2022, 10:37 AM
 
3,011 posts, read 4,726,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
So, the Elmwood Theater on College Av. is also permanently closed? Maybe a couple of new venues will appear again, after Covid runs its course and fades into the background.

Santa Fe, NM, was another town that was very much into foreign and indie films. They ran a lot of Indigenous films from the US and around the world, and also Buddhist films for the local Tibetan community and all the Western Buddhists in town. They had an annual Jewish film festival, as well. 2 non-profit theater venues for these films. Those aren't permanently closed, though, as far as I can gather from their websites.

Maybe Berkeley will have to do something like that: set up non-profit organizations for film buffs, selling memberships. It might work.

Theaters in Santa Cruz, including one devoted to indie films, are still alive and kicking. One is running films, the other is planning to re-open. Several others in the county are open for grateful customers happy to be able to go out for movies again. I wonder why Berkeley hasn't been able to do better than just one theater.
Elmwood Theater is the last one left (well the UA in Berkeley is currently still operating but apparently not for long). I can see where in Santa Cruz, being a smaller area, there would not be so many big modern multiplexes, so that rep theaters could survive better due to fewer options.

The Castro Theater in SF of course is no longer the same, as it's apparently removed it's original seating and using removable seats to change the venue from movie house to live entertainment venue as needed, and it is trying to do more live music than movies, so there are literally only a couple of films on the calendar for the months ahead if I'm not mistaken. At least "Vertigo" is one of them!

Where we live in San Diego (although we're currently in the Bay), we also lost most of the last independent rep theaters, with only the one on Coronado left.
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Old 08-29-2022, 12:04 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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You can only sell so many foreign/independent film and midnight Rocky Horror seats.
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Old 08-29-2022, 01:31 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
98,686 posts, read 97,193,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
Elmwood Theater is the last one left (.
This piece of news encouraged me to look up the Elmwood. It's run by a chain called Rialto Theaters, which I've never heard of. But Rialto also owns a theater on Sacramento St. in SF, that's also still up and running. Looks like Rialto is showing indie films and the occasional Hollywood item. That's great. Looks like they plan to stick around. More power to them!

Quote:
You can only sell so many foreign/independent film and midnight Rocky Horror seats.
Maybe the answer is to cut back the overgrowth in theaters, and focus on a few. I still think non-profit venues could work, as well.
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Old 08-29-2022, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Richmond, CA
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Berkeley had 5 theaters when I first moved there in 2008. It was down to 4 when I moved out in 2018, and quickly declined to 2 (soon just 1) since COVID started.

Of the 4 theaters left when COVID started, 2 were Landmarks. No surprise they closed since indie film goers are more likely to be masked never-go-outs.

That left the UA and the Elmwood. The latter is locally managed along with the Cerrito. The Cerrito has sofas and food service, so presumably the Elmwood location does too. There is a market for that type of theater, and since they are uncommon, people will travel for them.

The UA can't compete with more modern multiplexes that feature stadium seating. A good friend of mine is a movie buff who lives walking distance from the UA, and he watches movies at the AMC in Emeryville. If the UA couldn't even get an "easy" customer, then it's no wonder its days are numbered. Honestly, I'm surprised it didn't shut for good in 2020.

P.S. The still-open theater in nearby Albany is the one that had midnight screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I get your point.
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Old 08-30-2022, 10:19 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davdaven View Post
Berkeley had 5 theaters when I first moved there in 2008. It was down to 4 when I moved out in 2018, and quickly declined to 2 (soon just 1) since COVID started.

Of the 4 theaters left when COVID started, 2 were Landmarks. No surprise they closed since indie film goers are more likely to be masked never-go-outs.
.
Does/did Landmark mainly carry indie films? And why do you say indie film goers tend to be "masked never-go-outs"? Is that a reference to an age cohort? I'm an indie film goer, and I did not shut myself in during Covid. Though the prospect of attending a movie or lecture event during Covid never presented itself, anyway.
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Old 08-30-2022, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Richmond, CA
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Yes, Landmark generally shows indie and foreign films. The chain still exists, but in the Bay Area they're down to just 4 locations now: Albany Twin, Piedmont (Oakland), Opera Plaza (SF), and the Aquarius (Palo Alto). Shuttered locations include the California and Shattuck theaters in Berkeley and Embarcadero theater in SF.

At least in Berkeley, the audience seemed to skew to an older, more liberal demographic. A bit of a stereotype, perhaps, but the same sort of gray-haired white folks you see wandering around Berkeley's city streets masked--even though it's August 2022 and COVID is almost impossible to catch outdoors.
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Old 08-31-2022, 08:36 PM
 
28,104 posts, read 8,924,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davdaven View Post
Yes, Landmark generally shows indie and foreign films. The chain still exists, but in the Bay Area they're down to just 4 locations now: Albany Twin, Piedmont (Oakland), Opera Plaza (SF), and the Aquarius (Palo Alto). Shuttered locations include the California and Shattuck theaters in Berkeley and Embarcadero theater in SF.

At least in Berkeley, the audience seemed to skew to an older, more liberal demographic. A bit of a stereotype, perhaps, but the same sort of gray-haired white folks you see wandering around Berkeley's city streets masked--even though it's August 2022 and COVID is almost impossible to catch outdoors.
Landmark ran the River Oaks Theater in Houston (since the 70s) which, unfortunately, closed last year after 82 years.

Many happy movie minutes spent in the Bay Area venues being mentioned and at the River Oaks

I wondered if Landmark was still owned by billionaires Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, but it isn't.

They sold the chain to fellow billionaire Charles Cohen in 2018.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:09 AM
 
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I can remember a time when there were quite a number of theaters in Berkeley. Although I lived in the East Bay then, it did not live in Berkeley. Berkeley was the place to go through if one had a interest in a Art House type film, a foreign movie or a small independent production
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
14,222 posts, read 13,346,145 times
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I practically lived at the UC Theater back when they had Hong Kong Thursdays and film noir every week. For me, Berkeley stopped being a destination when Amoeba, Rasputin, Cody’s, Leopoldo’s etc all closed or became inconsequential with the loss of physical media. Au Coquelet closing is a big loss for the Berkeley of the past too.
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Old 09-02-2022, 11:45 AM
 
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There used to be a small theater on Gilman St in a bldg that looked like it was originally for industrial use
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