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Oakland Parkway Theater update: no new news

If, like me, you're wondering what the newest information on the Parkway Theater is, well, according to the "i like the parkway" website forum, there's no news - but that's news.

If you need a refresher, this video explains what happened to The Parkway Theater:



And this video covered the first community meeting:



And this is my video interview of former Parkway owners and founders Catherine and Kyle Fisher:



This is the communication that was released recently:

Dear friends of the Parkway Theater,

We hope you're well. We've missed you. It's been a while since we've given an update on the status of the Parkway, so we'd like to share the information we have about the on-going efforts to get a new business opened there.

As we approach the time of year where friends and family are a central theme, the organizers of I Like The Parkway are reminded that we have found both in the eclectic group of movie-lovers united through the loss of the Parkway. We know that this theater will re-open because of your support, your passion, and as time has told in the 9 months since it closed, your patience. For this we are thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.

** BUSINESS OPERATOR UPDATE **

The Parkway building is still empty. Yes, yes, we know. Not cool. The Motion Picture Heritage Company is no longer looking to open a theater there - we don't have the details, but it seems the cost of building repairs has been a big hurdle.

As most of you know, the first potential operator (Motion Picture Heritage Corporation) that made a serious effort toward re-opening the Parkway did not end up signing a deal. Since then, several groups have shown interest, put together business proposals, and worked on their plans with the theater building owners and/or the city. Some have since moved on; some are still somewhere in that process. Unfortunately, nobody has gotten to the point of signing a lease on the space, so we don't anticipate the theater opening up before the year's end. From the consistent activity of potential business operators, we are optimistic about a 2010 re-opening.

Because of your collective enthusiasm for the reopening of the Parkway, potential operators have recognized the benefit of working with the community to understand our needs and concerns. To date, multiple parties have reached out to begin that dialogue with us. What has become clear is that there is no shortage of interested parties who would like to re-open the theater in the spirit of what it once was. The challenge is crafting a deal that is agreeable and fair to both the would-be operators and the building owners and in demonstrating the financial viability of such a business to banks or investors. Until the reality of a deal presents itself we will continue to act as we have, fostering relationships throughout our community and throughout Oakland that we believe will lead to a better home for all of us and the re-imagination of the Parkway. Our primary objective is to ensure that anyone who reopens the Parkway has a clear business plan that reflects the ideas and concerns of the community, while balancing the requirements of a profitable business.

** WHAT NOW? **

As I Like The Parkway continues to grow, there are still people that love the theater and have no idea what happened. If you know people that love movies (that's most people, right?) and want to bring back a great place for movies and food, send them to http://www.iliketheparkway.com this week. Forward this email to 5 of your friends for eternal good luck!

** MURAL THANKS **

Have you driven by the theater recently and noticed the mural? Thanks to Ras Terms and Desi W.O.M.E. If you're at Woody's across the street, be sure to thank Steve or Robert for coordinating with these artists.

** FOR THE DOGS... **

For those of you interested in the neighborhood immediately adjacent to the Parkway, there is a group of residents that recently proposed creating a fenced, off-leash dog area in the small green space bordered by Park, E. 22nd, 5th, and E. 21st (see the map here). Councilmember Pat Kernighan is soliciting feedback through a survey on her site. Please visit her survey to share your thoughts.

Until next time, we hope you have a happy holiday, get to spend time with family and friends, and, as always-

We won't give up if you don't.

Thank you for all that you do,
I Like The Parkway


Stay tuned.
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