Oakland’s Grand Lake owner vows to keep going
OAKLAND, CA — Some thought he was crazy when he bought it, and it doesn’t really make him much money, but Allen Michaan, the owner of the 1926 Grand Lake Theater, still believes his theater is unique and one of the last bastions of the classic movie-going experience. He’s added 3-D and changed the bulbs in the theater’s terrific rooftop sign, but in other ways, going to this theater treasure is like stepping back in time.
But Michaan, who once operated 20 theaters in the Bay Area, has no intention of letting his last one die. He talks about the Art Deco theater as if it’s a living being – an old hunting dog that hasn’t caught a fox in a while, but he can’t bear the thought of putting it down.
“I would feel really, really bad if something happened to this building – if it wasn’t a theater,” Michaan says. “The Grand Lake is special. It’s one of the last of its kind. I sort of feel like I made a lot of money here over the years, and I owe it to the theater, even though it doesn’t make me any money any more.”
The full story, with pictures, is at SFGate.com.