Monday, October 6, 2008
Marquee Activism - Grand Lake Theater
No secret, I love Oaktown. Where else can you have a historical art deco movie theater display radical political thoughts on its marquee? Grand Lake Theater opened as a vaudeville and silent movie theater in 1926 but was transformed into a film theater decades later. After six different ownerships, it was grabbed up by Allen Michaan of Renaissance Rialto, Inc. They conducted additional renovations, so we now have: large and small theaters with themes like Egyptian tomb; an organ that rises from the floor with an organist for short concerts before Friday and Saturday movie showings; and of course, the lighted marquee with the political message du jour.
The messages began during the 2000 presidential elections with "This Is America — Every Vote Should Be Counted." Since then we are blessed with many more poignant notes to think about. So, if you ever drive by Lake Merritt in Oakland, don't forget to check out the Grand Lake Theater. Maybe you'll want to stop to catch a movie or attend one of the special guest speaker talks. Nader was there just last Tuesday. See you at the movies!