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Berkeley’s last time as home of Radio Day by the Bay?


The KRE building in 1941.

If you want to experience the “Lone Ranger” correctly, the place to go isn’t the movie theater. Few have been attending the big-cost, poor performing movie anyhow.
Instead go on Saturday to the historic art deco radio station building in Berkeley for the annual Radio Day by the Bay from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 20.
The event, hosted by the California Historical Radio Society, is a celebration of old school broadcasting and fundraiser featuring familiar air personalities. One of the highlights will be a reenactment of “The Lone Ranger’s Origin,” a radio show first aired in 1948, by the Broadcast Legends Old Time Radio Players.
There will also be a “Jive 95″ reunion of personalities — Scoop Nisker, Bonnie Simmons, Terry McGovern, Ben Fong-Torres, Richard Gossett, Kenny Wardell and Jim Draper — from legendary San Francisco station KSAN. Not to mention an auction of vintage radios and radio equipment, many with vacuum tubes.
There will also be a celebration of the movie “American Graffiti, ” including classic cars from the film (the KRE building was used for scenes in the classic 1973 George Lucas film) and the 2013 inductees for the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame will be announced.
This year’s event may be the last in Berkeley because the KRE building, site of the celebration and home of the CHRS, has been sold. As a result, the society is looking for and raising donations for a new home. The odds say the group has a better chance of finding an affordable building of at least 8,000 square feet outside of Berkeley.
And not many could equal the art deco KRE building, which the group has helped restore. Go check it out while you have the chance.
Admission is a $5 donation at the gate of the building at the foot of Ashby Avenue and the end of Shellmound Street.
“The important thing now for our organization is to have a really good event on July 20,” CHRS President Steve Kushman said. “It’s our biggest event of the year, and we just invite everybody to come and enjoy a whole day of fun devoted to radio.”
For more information, call the CHRS hotline at 415-821-9800, email info@californiahistoricalradio.com or go to www.californiahistoricalradio.com.

Chris Treadway