Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

THE PARKWAY SPEAKEASY CLOSES ITS DOORS

By awoodall
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 10:31 pm in Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Parkway Speakeasy.

AND GOES DARK FOR GOOD THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2009: THE END OF AN ERA
Dear Loyal Supporters: This is a sad but true message…from Kyle Fischer, CEO of Speakeasy Theaters, and Catherine Fischer, President of Speakeasy Theaters.
After more than twelve years of serving the great cultural crossroad of Oakland, the Parkway Speakeasy Theater will be closing at the end of business day this Sunday, March 22, 2009. From African Diaspora to Thrillville to lesbian fashion shows and educational porn, the Parkway has offered an eclectic array of movies and events.  It was the first theater in California to offer food, beer and wine service in a lounge style movie theater.  With a nudge or a push from the community, there was little programming the Parkway theater would not try in order to better be a community center and a safe haven for diverse ideas.  The Parkway brought Baby Brigade for the shuttered and abandoned parents of newborns, the first international black gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender film festival and Sunday Salon, a free event for cultural and community enhancement.  We, at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater, are deeply proud of the Parkway and will profoundly miss serving its community.  Thank you for your patronage.
Programming at Parkway will remain as scheduled this Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. Stay tuned for special announcements about this Sunday, the final day of operations.
The Speakeasy Experience lives on at the Cerrito. Most special events booked for Parkway, including regular attractions like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” will be moving there. Stay tuned to our web site and this newsletter for updates. Please direct all inquiries to Kyle Fischer, kf@speakeasytheaters.com. Messages should be brief and pertinent, out of respect for this difficult reality, but will be appreciated. This is a tough time for all of us.

Cheers.

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3 Responses to “THE PARKWAY SPEAKEASY CLOSES ITS DOORS”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Any word on the cause(s) of closure? Decreased attendance, increased costs, debt load, code violations, etc…

    And any word of possible investors or other solutions being explorer for keeping this resource around?

  2. Hubbard Run Me Throw Says:

    This is pretty devastating. I never stopped going. I always saw good crowds there. I knew they were in trouble when they stopped Monday movies, but I didn’t think they were on the verge of closing.

  3. awoodall Says:

    Sorry I didn’t see your question, Jeff. I just posted an update on the Parkway and am working on a story for the Friday Night Owl about the past and future. Anyway, the impression I think we all have is that money + management + programming = demise. But as for specifics — attendance, debt, costs– the owners seem to have quiet. I do know that they struggled with bringing in the right mix of films and events that would attract patrons.

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