The El Cerrito Historical Society and Friends of the Cerrito Theater are presenting a program about Fabulous Historic Movie Theaters of the East Bay. See below for details.
The theater as it looked in 1969, before the marquee was taken down. © Jack Kirby.
Let’s celebrate the East Bay’s movie-going past – and its present. Learn about the grand movie palaces that once dotted the landscape, and those that still remain. Mourn the loss of many neighborhood theatres, while touring one that was resurrected in 2006 after 40 years in the dark.
The program features Jennifer Dowling Posedel, author of “Theatres of Oakland,” and Gary Lee Parks, author of “Theatres of San Jose” and co-author of “Theatres of the San Francisco Peninsula.” It will be followed by a tour of the 75-year-old Cerrito Theater, with its original Heinsbergen murals, etched glass and more.
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 10 a.m. to Noon, Free.
Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito.
Information: Dave Weinstein, 510-524-1737, email@example.com.
Based on a real-life case, “The French Connection,” starring Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider is the ultimate chase movie. It won five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor award for Hackman, and Best Director for William Friedkin.
Filmed on the gritty streets of New York and Marseilles, The story involves an international heroin smuggling deal, which includes the Mafia and an American money man.
Hackman is the anti-hero: a relentless New York cop, known as Popeye Doyle, who pursues the case with a cold personal determination to win at all costs, regardless of the consequences.
The showing is on Thursday, May 9 at 7pm. All seats are $8. Getting to the theater early is always a good idea–for a choice of seating and to order freshly-made food and drinks. You are strongly advised to buy tickets in advance at the box office or online.
Pre-show video. Produced by Michael DeWitt.
Pre-show videos that appeared with previous Cerrito Classics can be found on Michael’s channel on YouTube.
Friends of the Cerrito Theater mourn the passing of a great filmmaker, Les Blank. Blank, a soft-spoken man, made being soft spoken part of his style, as he became a fly on the wall observing — and filming — life around him.
Les Blank at the groundbreaking for the reconstruction and restoration of the Cerrito Theater in 2005.
All the while he kept so quiet the people he filmed forgot he was there — hence the intense realism of his films, and their informality.
Les Blank lived in Berkeley but his film company Flower Films was right here in El Cerrito. He supported the preservation of the Cerrito Theater, attending several events in the early days, as Friends of the Cerrito Theater successfully urged the city to preserve the theater and raised funds for its preservation.
Blank is best known for his movies about folk music, ethnic music, and the like, “The Blues According to Lightnin’ Hopkins,” “Chulas Fronetras;” food (“Garlic is as Good as 10 Mothers“; and the classic “Werner Herzog eats his Shoe.”
But have you seen the two movies he made about the Maestro, the wonderful cowboy performance artist from Albany?
Les, who made 42 films, or maybe more, many with Chris Simon, was 77.
– Dave Weinstein, chairman, Friends of the Cerrito Theater