Review: Alameda Theatre and Cineplex


Alameda Theatre and Cineplex
2317 Central Avenue
Alameda, Ca 94501
(510) 796- FILM (3456)

The 1932 grand opening of this spectacular Art Deco movie palace was an opulent affair, replete with the California governor, a searchlight-illuminated sky, dazzling usherettes in bright costumes, and a showing of Rebecca of Sonnybrook Farm (plus a Laurel and Hardy feature, newsreel and Betty Boop cartoon—for $0.35 admission). As movies gave way to television, the theater went into decline, and then did stints in the ’80s and ’90s as a dance club and roller rink.

Then (oh happy day!) the early aughts brought a massive restoration, and the theater reopened in 2008, now a modern, seven-screen cineplex that retained and restored many of the gorgeous original details. What was, in 1932, the largest movie screen in California now lays claim to the “largest 3-D screen in the world” title. Plus, to our great joy, the “green” theater uses compostable popcorn bags and soda cups.

And in addition to regular showings of blockbusters and indie films, the theater celebrates its Old Hollywood past with a regular classic film series showing vintage films as they were originally seen. Sing-a-longs are also not unheard of.

Read about more things to do in Alameda.

Take the ferry to Harbor Bay, or take BART to Fruitvale and transfer to one of many AC Transit buses that link to Alameda.