But all that could change if J Moses Ceaser and the New Parkway Theater Group can raise $200,000 within the next six weeks to reestablish the popular "Speakeasy" theater in the space.
This email sent to this blogger and posted below tells the whole story:
Hi Parkway Lovers:
Big news! The Parkway will be reopening at its rightful home on Park Blvd! We don’t have a signed lease yet but we’re very close to the finish line and absolutely expect to get something done shortly. Please read on for all the details about the impending lease, other Parkway-related developments, and an amazing Quote of the Week:
Negotiations with the Chengs—the Chengs notified us a few weeks back that they would prefer to lease the building than to sell it, and so we’ve been trying to hammer out lease terms that suit both parties. And the negotiations have moved along to the point where Mr. Cheng has said that he is “confident that we can work out something that we can both be satisfied with”, and we agree. We are very happy that the Chengs are prepared to invest money—with help from the City of Oakland—to fix up the theater. We’ve also made our absolute best financial offer and are ready to invest money in the kitchen, lobby, theater spaces, and projection room to bring the Parkway back to life. I expect that we’ll have a lease in place in the next week or two and that we’ll be able to reopen the Parkway in roughly six months time, give or take a few permits and a beer and wine license. How’s that for happy Thanksgiving news!! Please help spread the happy news, and read on since this deal will only move forward if we raise the necessary start-up funds.
We’re Done with Phase One!—I’m very happy to report that we’ve successfully completed Phase 1 of fundraising for the theater’s reopening. Having this first core group of equity investors in place is critical since it’s this group that assumes the most risk and responsibility for the venture. Now we’ve got to raise another $200-300K in Phase 2 and hope to do it over the next six weeks.
Only 10 More Days for Kickstarter—we’ve only got ten more days for our Kickstarter campaign, and it’s not looking good, sort of like the Raiders and 49ers games this past Sunday. “Bleak” might be a better descriptor. But, I’ve been told that deadlines bring out the best in some, and we’re hoping for a last-minute rush on the small donation aisle. Please do your part, and remember that you’ve got nothing to lose, your donations are not cashed until we reach the magical $50K goal. Help make the comeback story of the year possible. Help do what the Raiders and 49ers couldn’t. Help us reach our goal against all odds. Here’s the link: http://kck.st/cPGq5y.
Pizza, Sodas, and Cake, Oh My!—the first dishes out of the New Parkway “test kitchen” are getting rave reviews. We served some pizza at our investor meetings that made guests exclaim, “if the pizza is this good, the Parkway will definitely be successful.” We also made a flourless chipotle chocolate cake on another night, which I think could find its way onto the menu, along with a savory wild mushroom bread pudding, and a few wintry soups. Lastly, we’re looking into making our own fountain drinks so as to avoid the high-fructose corn syrup-filled crap that’s commonly distributed. Could you live without your high-fructose Coke at the theater if we’ve got some tasty alternatives?
December Investor Meetings—we’ll be holding a few more meetings for investors and potential investors in December. These are a chance to learn more about the business plan behind the New Parkway, the risks and benefits involved, and how you can help to bring Oakland’s favorite theater back to life. If you’re interested in learning more about investing your $5,000+, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an investor packet, and then aim to attend one of the following two meetings:
Sunday, December 12th, 6-8PM
Thursday, December 16th, 7-9PM
Both of these meetings will be held in Berkeley and require an RSVP so that we can be sure to have enough food and drink on hand. That’s right, free pizza and beer for all potential investors. So reserve your spot soon, and more importantly, own a piece of a theater you love.
Quote of the Week—I know that this section is called “Quote of the Week”, but this one could be the “Quote of the Year” or even better. Here it is, from Mark Lynn:
“Let me start by saying I hate movie theaters. I hate folks who talk. I hate not being able to get a man drink. I hate the temperature. I hate food munchers, wrapper manglers, and drink slurpers. I hate shitty candy. I hate cell phones. I hate sticky floors. I hate sitting by people I don't know, much less like. Simply abhor theaters.
I love movies. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Parkway Theater. I was crestfallen when it closed. It's seriously the ONLY theater I like and I truly love it! I can't describe with words current in the Oxford dictionary how happy I would be if the theater reopened. I haven't been to a movie since it closed. Not kidding.”
Join the Mailing List—in addition to supporting the Parkway financially, we’d love to get more and more folks on the mailing list so that you can hear directly about what’s going on and send us your thoughts. Please help us double, triple, quadruple the mailing list. Steer people towards http://thenewparkway.com/mailinglist.html .
If you're new to the Parkway Theater issue, here's a playlist of videos that cover its closing, community meetings on saving the facility, and an interview with the previous owners, Katherine and Kyle Fisher: