Alameda Theatre cuts corners with non-union workers
ALAMEDA, CA — The recently reopened Alameda Theatre has been getting heat for hiring non-union projectionists.
Martin Lipow, president of Local 169 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) says that un-trained, non-union employees in the projection rooms at the new Alameda Theatre are likely to damage film prints and increase the costs for maintaining equipment at the theatre. Lipow says that the Alameda Theatre is using non-union “front of the house employees,” such as ushers, concession stand workers and ticket-takers, rather than trained projectionists, to effectively just “push the button” to start screenings on sophisticated equipment that was designed to be run by professionals. The results, he says, will be a diminished theatre experience for Alameda movie-goers, and a poorly run theatre that might not succeed.
Lipow works for Renaissance Rialto Theatres – owned by Allen Michaan – which also runs the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland, the Orinda Theatre, and Auctions by the Bay at Alameda Point. Michaan is known for the political messages he posts on the Grand Lake Theatre, such as the anti-Iraq war slogan “No War For Oil.”
Read more at Action Alameda.