Rialto Cinema’s Letter to the Friends of Cerrito Theater

Film information is at the end of the letter.

To the Friends of the Cerrito Theater,

Thank you for your warm welcome to El Cerrito! We are thrilled to bring such a historic, community treasure into our group of unique cinemas. We look forward to a long and constructive relationship with the “Friends,” people like us, that enjoy the magic of the movies and the experience that is available only when viewing the big screen in the dark with others. We strive honor the magic of the movies by presenting them in a way that lets the film shine. We believe as human beings we are by our very nature social creatures and there is something truly magical about sitting the dark with a group of strangers and sharing a common experience, which at its essence is what going to the movies is. Friends run into other friends, people meet and lose themselves in the world of film. To the end of satisfying that longing for enchantment in a communal setting we will work hard at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito to make sure that our patrons have a great experience.

We’ve chosen the spirit line ‘El Cerrito’s Hometown Movie Theatre,’ to reflect both the community spirit and ownership of this City-owned asset as well as to reinforce the notion that moviegoers don’t need to leave El Cerrito to go out to the movies. We are opening the theatre to all ages. It is our intention to position the Cerrito Theater within the East Bay marketplace as a viable option for moviegoers of all ages seeking more than the average megaplex experience. Our hope and our plan is to combine the unique strengths Rialto Cinemas brings to theatre operations with the unique asset that is the Cerrito Theater to make a vital community destination that enhances the cultural and community life in El Cerrito.

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito’s goal is to be a vital community destination both through regular programming and work with other community based groups on special events to present films either as fundraisers or to raise awareness of particular issues. We have a genuine interest in working with community groups and non-profit organizations to present events that bring new customers to the theatre and to El Cerrito. We will also strive to find opportunities to work with schools whenever practical, as has been the practice at Rialto Cinemas in Santa Rosa and Berkeley. In Santa Rosa Rialto Cinemas Lakeside hosts quarterly movie days for the reading students at Slater Middle School and in Berkeley at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood the theatre has hosted Willard Middle School for the only field trip those students had in 2008 as well as dedicating half of the profits from the monthly Family Film Series to four local elementary school PTAs.

The opening of Rialto Cinemas Cerrito will occur in phases. The first phase will open the theatre for movie screenings with fabulous popcorn, candy and sodas only. In phase two the full kitchen will open and the new menu featuring pizza, salads, and sandwiches will come online and finally in phase three, with the approval of California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, wine and beer will join the menu.

A little bit about us: Rialto Cinemas has operated Rialto Cinemas Lakeside in Santa Rosa since January 2000 and Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley since June 2007. Each theatre is distinct and uniquely responsive to the community in which they exist. Rialto Cinemas Lakeside is Sonoma County’s premiere movie theatre for independent, foreign, classic and other films outside of the Hollywood mainstream. Rialto Cinemas Elmwood is a vital and competitive theatre in the Elmwood district of Berkeley at the intersection of College Avenue and Ashby. Under the stewardship of Rialto Cinemas the Elmwood has become competitive with the “downtown theatres” through excellent programming and partnering with a wide variety of community groups.

We are re-opening the theatre on Wednesday, July 15 with Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and Food, Inc. Join us! We are absolutely delighted to bring NT Live, plays from the National Theatre, London to El Cerrito. The first presentation in this new initiative will be Phédre starring Helen Mirren. Tickets are on sale now, http://www.rialtocinemas.com Phédre was performed live in London on Thursday, June 25, captured live in high definition and will be presented at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito on Wednesday, July 22nd and Thursday, July 23rd at 7:30pm. You won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to see thrilling world-class theatre direct from the world-renowned National Theatre, London on the big screen!

Join us as we raise the curtain on Rialto Cinemas Cerrito. Join us where there is light shining in the dark and enjoy the new brand of customer friendly experience that Rialto Cinemas is bringing to “El Cerrito’s Hometown Movie Theatre.”

Showtimes: 510 273-9102, www.rialtocinemas.com/cerrito

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