Lease for Berkeley’s Oaks Theatre to Expire on Feb. 28
Breaking News / Business / Movies Nate Seltenrich — Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 2:21 PM
Metropolitan Theatres Corporation, which currently operates Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue in Berkeley, has announced it will not renew its lease when it expires on February 28. The family-owned and Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Theatres signed a five-year lease on the theater in early 2005.
Currently, no plan is in place for theater operations come March 1. One longtime employee, who asked to remain anonymous, was confident that another theater operator would step in: “This is a wonderful spot here. It’s a wonderful location. You really can’t miss here. Someone will definitely pick it up. I have very high hopes for it.” Officials at Metropolitan Theatres could not be reached for comment.
A tip received by the Express suggested that Oaks employees had cited Rialto Cinemas, which operates the Elmwood in Berkeley and took over the newly renovated Cerrito Theater in El Cerrito from Speakeasy Theaters last July, as a potential suitor. Ky Boyd, proprietor of Rialto Cinemas, would neither confirm nor deny such reports. He was, however, aware of the lease’s upcoming expiration. “We’re always looking for other opportunities,” he said, but declined to comment further.