|A LONG MESSAGE ABOUT THE NEXT MANY MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS...
A couple months ago, we sent out a newsletter looking forward to our reopening. At the time, an August or September reopening seemed very plausible. After all, California, and especially Alameda County, represented the gold standard as far as Covid response, and it seemed that we were well on our way to a successful reopening. No longer!
Because the state and the country are trending very much in the wrong direction, and likely will be for awhile, we’ve decided that we will not reopen as a movie theater until there is a vaccine or at least sufficient therapeutics that can tame the beast. While it’s a tough decision to take--knowing that we’ll likely be closed for at least another six months--we arrived at the decision for the following three reasons:
All of this adds up to us remaining closed for the rest of 2020 and likely a portion of 2021. That means no Champions League Final, no presidential debates, no Halloween classics, no Warriors-in-the-NBA Finals viewing parties, and no Elf and Fiddler on the Roof over the holidays. And maybe no Biden Inauguration breakfast, no Super Bowl Sunday, and no Valentine’s Day 2021 at the New Parkway…
But it’s not all bad news. While these have been dark days and pretty tough sledding, the longer-term future looks bright for the New Parkway:
Financially, We Should Be Fine—while many small businesses have closed or will close as this pandemic wears on, the New Parkway will fortunately not be one of them. Between patrons’ incredible support, the Paycheck Protection Program, our food crates, and rainy day reserves, we’re going to come out of this OK, or it at least looks that way now. We’ll let you know if anything changes and we need more support—and you’re always welcome to Buy Stuff—but we feel like we’re built for the long-run, and one not-so-measly pandemic is not going to stop us!
Looking Good Inside and Out—right around the start of Shelter in Place, we finished up our new façade mural. We’ve since put up a temporary mural across our boarded-up storefront and have started another incredible (and long) mural inside, but we’ve also installed new flooring, built new tables, improved our restrooms, and painted and cleaned just about everything. Upon our reopening, we’ll have added a slushy machine and tap cocktails, some new furniture and furnishings, improved workspaces on the Mezzanine, and some film-related art in the lobby. All this, and lots of stuff you can’t see, was funded through our 2020 Kickstarter, so thanks to our backers, and let us know if you’d like to chip in after the fact (and glean rewards).
Feeding the East Bay—While we’re not able to operate as a movie theater or even as a traditional restaurant (since we don’t have an outdoor seating area), we very early on launched a food crate delivery program that’s now in its 20thweek. We send out a mix of heat-and-serve dishes suitable for individuals or families and catering to all dietary restrictions. We deliver crates on Wednesdays and Fridays and then donate any surplus food to families in need. Why not eat with us!! We’re even discussing doing movie-themed food crates for post-pandemic movie viewing parties at home (with guests from outside your bubble). Remember those?
And, even though we’ll be closed as a theater for months to come, here are some exciting ways that you can still enjoy movies with us in the meantime:
Outdoor Movie Nights—We’re partnering with Heist at their 25thStreet location to screen some wonderful, family-friendly movies on the last Saturday of both August and September. The movies are surprises, and you’ve got to reserve your spot in advance and play by CDC rules, but we think you’ll really love both the movies and the experience.
Saturday Afternoon Movie Club—Join the original Parkway’s programmer, Will the Thrill Viharo, as he leads a movie discussion each week around a whole host of throwback films. It’s like a book club, only with movies. And since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it’s all remote, so you don’t have to take a shower or bake a quiche to attend, though you’re welcome to do both.
Very Private Rentals—Sorry to save the best for last, but we’re rolling out a new kind of rental program during our closure that allows you to watch a movie AT the New Parkway Theater WITHOUT social distancing, and to do it RIGHT NOW! How is that possible, you ask? It’s because these are VERY private rentals, limited to between two and six people, all from the same bubble, and you get the theater all to yourself. But wait, there’s more! Incredibly enough, included in the high price of admission is not only a movie of your choosing but also a 3-4 course meal and all the drinks you can drink.
And we may soon be announcing a new drive-in partnership, we’ve got volunteer opportunities, and you can of course buy stuff.
Thanks for your continued support of the New Parkway, and we look forward to seeing you soon, pandemic-style!
- Remaining closed is the right thing to do from a public health standpoint: while there is a lot that we still don’t know about the coronavirus, what is clear is that indoor activities, especially for long periods of time and with alcohol involved, are inherently more dangerous, and no amount of cleaning and air filtering will make movie-watching in a large group during a pandemic a healthy choice.
- Trying to reopen with limited capacity AND greater health and safety requirements doesn’t make financial sense: if we’re limited to 25 percent, or even 50 percent capacity, that means fewer patrons and, in some cases, more staff. Doing business during a pandemic takes more supplies and more people: more people to monitor people coming in and out of the building, more people to safely move guests around the theater, and more people to constantly clean screening rooms and public spaces. That equals more costs and less revenue. We’re willing to lose some money, but our estimates are that we could lose between $20,000 and $50,000 a month by being open, and we don’t have anywhere close to that kind of money to lose.
- Social distancing goes against the New Parkway’s DNA: while many other theaters might be able to pull off social distancing, the New Parkway is first and foremost a community space, and the idea that people connecting with one another is something bad doesn’t sit well with us. I think we’d rather be closed for a longer period of time than have to discourage patrons from doing what the New Parkway is all about: building community.
THE NEW PARKWAY THEATER is a community-centered cinema and pub located in Oakland's Uptown district. Sit back and relax in our cozy couches while watching our new releases, cult classics, and fabulous special programming. Enjoy delicious food and local beer and wine on tap delivered right to your theater seat, all at affordable prices! See you at the New Parkway!
The New Parkway Theater has free parking for patrons in a lot just a block from the theater. Patrons may use the Douglas Parking lot at the intersection of Valley and 23rd Streets, right behind Rock Paper Scissors. New Parkway patrons may use this lot after 6PM Mondays through Fridays (except during Art Murmur on the first Friday of each month), and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. Please do not leave any valuables in your car and do not leave your car parked in this lot overnight.
|About The New Parkway
The New Parkway Theater is a community-centered cinema and pub located in Oakland's Uptown district at 474 24th Street. Sit back and relax in our cozy couches while watching our new releases, cult classics, and fabulous special programming. Plus, enjoy yummy food and local beer and wine in our café or even delivered right to your theater seat all at affordable prices!
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