Final Act for Act 1 & 2 Cinemas

posted by gsmurph on March 29, 2006 at 4:36 am

BERKELEY, CA — According to a report from the Berkeley Daily Planet, the Act 1 & 2 Cinema closed for good on March 26:

Act 1&2 Theatre at 2128 Center St., showed final screenings of C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America and Summer Storm to sparse audiences Sunday before closing down for good.

The lease for the two-screen cinema, owned by Landmark Theatres, had run out, said Vice President of Marketing Ray Price.

He refused to comment on specific reasons for the closure, but said, “In general, one of the problems with theater properties is the retail value of the square footage is higher than the value of the theater. Other retail venues can better afford to pay that.”

“It’s not uncommon,” he said.

Landmark operates 57 theaters nationwide and specializes in art-house first-run independents, foreign film classics and other nontraditional cinema. In the East Bay, the company owns the California Theatre, Shattuck Cinemas, Piedmont Theatre and the Albany Twin. It acquired Act 1&2 in 1994.

Employees who chose to stay with the company were given the option to transfer to other theaters, said Act 1&2 Manager Chris Hatfield.

Last week, a theater employee told the Daily Californian on condition of anonymity that the theater was closing because low customer turnout was exacting a toll on financial solvency. Price would not confirm that.

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