“Yellow Submarine” (1968) at the Cerrito on Thursday, July 12, at 7:00

Take a musical journey with The Beatles at the Cerrito on Thursday, July 12, at 7:00!

Can you believe it: “Yellow Submarine” has been sailing 50 years? A remastered version is being released for the anniversary. The Friends of the Cerrito Theater are proud to be part of the celebration—a celebration too big for just one evening, but with a regular run, starting on Monday, July 9!

The Friends invite you to be part of the fun on Thursday, July 12, for a special screening during the movie’s run, including the special touches that you enjoy during Cerrito Classics.

The animated story involves The Beatles going on a surreal journey to save Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies and their minions: the Apple Bonkers, the Snapping Turtle Turks, and the Dreadful Flying Glove. Along the way they make friends with Old Fred and the odd Jeremy Hillary Boob, Ph. D. (who speaks only in verse). During this adventure we’re treated to sixteen different songs by The Fab Four, including “Eleanor Rigby,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “All You Need Is Love,” and the title track “Yellow Submarine.” The visual style of the movie borrows from the pop and psychedelic art of its time.

“Yellow Submarine” is truly a film for all ages. It’s family-friendly, but also sophisticated. And with all those songs by the most influential, creative band of its era, it’s a pleasure for music lovers.

As “Yellow Submarine” will be part of a regular run, the Cerrito’s regular prices will be in effect: $12.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids, students with I.D., and seniors. You can order your tickets at the box office or online.

Scene

So many choices at Scene! There are flatbread pizzas, a charcuterie and cheese sampler, baked sandwiches, “bites,” salads, desserts, and much more. You can enjoy them there, or have them brought to your seat while you watch the movie. The atmospheric food/wine bar is a fun place to hang out, with special wines and beers available. Check it out!

Upcoming Classics

Cerrito Classics will return in September:

  • Thursday, September 13, at 7 p.m. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)

See you then!

Consider attending the Oversight Board meeting this Wednesday

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This is a reminder to supporters of the Cerrito Theater that there will be a final meeting to consider the agreement reached between the city of El Cerrito and Rialto Cinemas.

The Oversight Committee meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27 at City Hall in the small Hillside Conference Room. This is a public meeting and the public can speak. We encourage people to read the agreement and the agenda package.

Because it is a small meeting room and because we expect the Oversight Committee to approve the agreement we are not urging people to attend. But we welcome people to attend, of course. We hope a dozen or so supporters do attend, just to emphasize support in the community for retaining the Cerrito theater as an ongoing entertainment venue for the next 99 years, as the agreement proposes.

The agreement also ensures that historic elements of the theater are preserved for 99 years.

The Oversight Board must approve the plan to ensure redevelopment funds are handled properly.

Although the agreement does not maximize the amount of money the sale would bring in, it does something much more important. It ensures that the theater will continue for another century as an entertainment and social center of the city, and as the anchor of a lively business and entertainment district.

In the unlikely event the Oversight board votes no, the deal would likely fall apart. We believe the theater would eventually be forced to close.

The city must sell the Cerrito Theater because it bought it using redevelopment funds. The state ended redevelopment agencies a few years ago and is requiring cities to sell redevelopment assets.

The sale of the theater to the current successful operator, with the requirements that it remain a theater, remain a historic building, and continue to provide community days, is the best solution imaginable.

The state of California understands the value of the theater as a theater – not as a development site. Three years ago it approved a city plan to sell the theater as a theater. This was part of a long range plan for all the city’s redevelopment properties. The Oversight board also gave approval to the plan at that time.

The matter before the Oversight Board on Wednesday would simply put that plan into action. That is why we expect approval.

Details Look Good in Cerrito Theater Sale

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Friends of the Cerrito Theater has supported the proposed agreement for the city of El Cerrito to sell the historic Cerrito Theater to its current occupants, who do business as Rialto Cinemas. We did have some concerns that restrictions on changing the theater’s historic fabric might not be strong enough.

But now that the details have been worked out and described as part of the contract, we have to say it looks very good.

The city needs to sell the theater because the state of California put local redevelopment agencies out of business several years ago and told them to sell their assets, the theater being one.

Rialto, which is buying it through a related company (Great Falls Entertainment) is paying $790,000. That price takes into account both the repair and maintenance costs Rialto must expend.

More significantly, it also takes into account the reduced monetary value of the theater brought about by Rialto’s agreement—which is part of the deed—to:

  • Operate the theater as either a cinema or performance space for 99 years
  • Preserve the historic elements for 99 years

Both are significant restraints. They mean the theater will continue to be an asset to the El Cerrito community for another century.

We originally had concerns that the language about preserving historic elements like the marquee, the Art Deco glass, murals, and original paint jobs inside the theater, might not be strong enough.

We also wanted to make sure that someone would watch over Rialto’s renovations and maintenance to make sure all was done properly.

We no longer have those concerns because Rialto has agreed to our suggestion that any changes be done in accordance with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. These standards are used to guide work on historic properties nationwide.

Rialto also agreed that the city will monitor work done on the theater, and can remove historic elements if that becomes necessary. Friends of the Cerrito Theater will of course continue in its watchdog role.

We encourage people to read more about the proposed deal through the staff report for tonight’s meeting and the agreement itself.

The council will discuss the deal at its meeting tonight, Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. The council is expected to agree to it, as it has been discussed with them in a legal closed session – and as members of the council fully understand how important the continued existence of the Cerrito Theater, operating as Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, is to the citizens of El Cerrito and to the economic well being of our town.