The Grand Lake Theater is an ancient movie palace in Grand/Lakeshore district in Oakland, California. It appears on the list of top ten historic theaters in the United States. The Grand Lake Theater has been in business for over nine decades and is also one of the largest cinemas in California.
The Background of the Grand Lake Theater
The Reid Brothers’ designed the Grand Lake Theater and launched it in 1926. Its first showings were silent movies and vaudeville which were later abolished when talking pictures became popular. In 1929, businessman Abraham Karski took over this venture and was given a lease for 94 years. For many years, the Grand Lake Theater has been under the management of various businesses including the National General Theater, Inc and the Renaissance Rialto, Inc. Its current owner Allen Michaan the founder and president of Renaissance Rialto, Inc has been managing the theater to date. Under his leadership, the Grand Lake Theater has been going through numerous upgrades and restorations.
Renovations Made at the Grand Lake Theater
In the 80’s the Grand Lake Theater underwent various renovations that involved division of the balcony into an auditorium. Its style is a blend of Egyptian Revival and Moorish. With these changes, the Grand Lake Theater can accommodate up to 1,619 people. In 1985, the Storefronts on Grand Avenue was rebuilt in small themed auditoriums making the place unique. The more massive hall has the Mighty Wurlitzer fitted underneath the floors. The emergence of new technology has also prompted the theater to change a few things. Currently, the Grand Lake Theater is the only place that presents two projector 3-D in Northern California and has four viewing screens. This cinema works with a team of highly trained union projectionist that work to enhance the level of clarity of the projectors. This aspect has made them the best movie place in the region.
The Grand Lake Theater Achievements
The Grand Lake Theater has hosted many prominent personalities such as Congresswoman Barbara Lee, filmmakers George Lucas & Steven Spielberg, and actors Tom Hanks & Sean Penn. This cinema has hosted many movie premieres such as “Dylan Avery’s Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup.” It has also featured other segments such as the Rachel Maddow Show. The Grand Lake Theater is known showcasing movies at lower prices. The Grand Lake Theater has also been accorded recognition by various platforms such as the East Bay Express Reader Poll. For three consecutive years on a roll, The Grand Lake Theater has been named the “Best Movie Theater” by the East Bay Express Reader Poll.
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