Archive for the ‘Alameda Theater’ Category

Alameda theater photo tour

February 4, 2009

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Stunning photographs of the Alameda theater!

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Alameda Theater: Some suggestions

May 26, 2008

The reviews are in (here, and here, for starters) and the Alameda theater restoration is getting rave reviews. I was there for the free grand opening on Saturday and watching Ingrid Bergman on the big screen brought back memories from many years ago! Perhaps the theater might want to consider the regular screening of classics, in addition to the first run movies.

The website could do with some sprucing up. For starters, it is incomplete as Indiana Jones is playing on two screens, while the website lists the timings for only the main screen. As always, Google to the rescue. btw, Google has listings for all 8 screens, but the theater’s website lists only 5! What gives?

As the restored main screen is perhaps the main draw, it would be helpful if the movie playing there was clearly identified.

The online booking interface is broken! It takes you to a screen that has links to the individual websites for the movies, but good luck trying to book a ticket through any of these links.

Hopefully, these are just the initial glitches and will be sorted out in due course.

While we’re on the topic of the theater, check out the June 1933 program for the Alameda Theater.

Part A

Part B

Part C

Part D

And pigs can fly!

May 24, 2008

This blog (has for the most part) stayed away from local politics, preferring to let other folks who are more conversant in this area to discuss such matters. Still, I couldn’t help but notice this comment from Don Roberts, a vocal critic of the Alameda Theater:

Yesterday morning, hundreds of people stood in line to take a free tour of the beautifully refurbished Alameda Theater and the new 7 screen megaplex. They also got to see free classic movies, i.e., Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, and the Wizard of Oz.

Perhaps a sign that he has now changed his mind? 🙂

Countdown to Alameda Theater

May 17, 2008

Despite my initial reservations about the size of the parking garage, I’m eagerly looking forward to the grand opening of the theater. I walked by today and it still looks very much like a construction zone.

Inquiring mind wants to know: will they get rid of the gaudy colored bulbs at the theater entrance (underneath the awning)?


Value-Engineering or Cost-Cutting?

August 10, 2006

Here’s another episode in the “what’s in a name?” series.

As mentioned earlier, I do feel the need for a local theater but am not exactly thrilled with the proposed design for the Alameda theater restoration project. The city recently invited bids for the restoration project and the lowest bids submitted for the parking garage and the theater renovation were significantly over budget (by $800,000 and $3.6m, respectively).

What does the city do to shoe horn these estimates to fit the budget? Value-engineer, of course! In the city’s definition:

“Value engineering” entails the elimination of various architectural features and embellishments, such as decorative screens, cornices and marquees on the cineplex structure, as well as one of the elevators in the parking garage.

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Megaplex or Theater: What’s in a name?

August 1, 2006

Proposed Alameda Theater

The city is considering renovating the historic Alameda theater in downtown Alameda. As with every story, there are two sides to this debate as well. On the one hand, there are the “preservationists” who argue that the scope of the renovation is completely out of whack and the resulting “megaplex” completely disregards Alameda’s architectural traditions. The “pro-growth” camp argues that the “theater” is precisely what is needed to revitalize downtown Alameda.

Here’s an interesting factiod about Alameda: there is just one theater (Central Cinema, a single screen theater that seats 40) in all of Alameda (population 75,000)! Our options are therefore to drive to either Emeryville, Berkeley or Oakland. Personally, I would rather spend my money in Alameda; but the opportunities to do so are somewhat limited, thus depriving the city of valuable tax dollars.

I would really like to see the Alameda Theater be renovated. Perhaps this might spur the development of Park Street and bring in the much needed foot traffic. But I am not thrilled with the proposed design for the parking garage and additional screens. I have to admit, it is a huge concrete box devoid of any character and the sheer size dwarfs the adjacent buildings. It almost looks like Emeryville’s Bay Street!

Here’s an alternative that looks more appealing:

alternate-plan.jpg