Lease expiring on Berkeley’s Oaks Theater; new operator sought
BERKELEY, CA — Metropolitan Theaters of Los Angeles will not be renewing its current lease on the twin-screen Oaks Theater when it expires at the end of this month. The current owner would prefer to keep the theater operating and hopes that a northern California theater management firm would become the leasee.
Currently, no plan is in place for theater operations come March 1. One longtime employee, who asked to remain anonymous, was confident that another theater operator would step in: “This is a wonderful spot here. It’s a wonderful location. You really can’t miss here. Someone will definitely pick it up. I have very high hopes for it.” Officials at Metropolitan Theatres could not be reached for comment.
A tip received by the Express suggested that Oaks employees had cited Rialto Cinemas, which operates the Elmwood in Berkeley and took over the newly renovated Cerrito Theater in El Cerrito from Speakeasy Theaters last July, as a potential suitor. Ky Boyd, proprietor of Rialto Cinemas, would neither confirm nor deny such reports. He was, however, aware of the lease’s upcoming expiration. “We’re always looking for other opportunities,” he said, but declined to comment further.
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