This Sunday, July 3, union organizer and Alameda resident Martin Lipow and another member of the IATSE Local 169 held protest signs and spoke with movie-goers outside the Alameda Theater and Cineplex.
Lipow says he stages protests here on a regular basis to draw attention to the fact that the theater pays “substandard wages and uses inexperienced operators.”
He and other members of Local 169 are motion picture projectionists and technicians. The union members staff the Grand Lake theater in Oakland, Landmark Theaters, AMC Theaters and other theaters in the Bay Area.
Along with United Artist theaters, the Alameda Theater is one of only a few cineplexes that are non-union workplaces, according to Lipow.
Changing films, lightbulbs and other materials takes training and skill, he says. Also, since the city invested $30 million in the cineplex, the Alameda operation should have enough funding to support professional projectionists, the union argues.
Plus, Lipow says, Alameda theater patrons would really see a difference in the overall quality of films shown at the local cineplex if union workers were hired.