California Theatre, Pittsburg, CA in June 2012 / photo by Kathy McLeister

Moraga, CA and Pittsburg, CA

California Theatre, Pittsburg, CA in June 2012 / photo by Kathy McLeister

California Theatre, Pittsburg, CA in June 2012 / photo by Kathy McLeister

Two theatres visited by THS during the afterglow of the 2012 Conclave/Theatre Tour were recently in the news.  The Rheem Theatre in Moraga, CA is having issues with their elevator and causing them to be non-compliant with ADA requirements.  On a more positive note, THS Director Gary Parks tells us that the California Theatre in Pittsburg, CA has finished renovation and is scheduled to reopen on January 19, 2013. 

Th California Theatre was still in the process  of the a $7 million renovation when THS was there in June 2012.  For information and images go to


For information about the Rheem Theatre, see below. 

Moraga: Loss of elevator to shut down three of four New Rheem movie screens 

By Lou Fancher, Correspondent
Posted:   01/08/2013 11:05:19 AM PST
Updated:   01/08/2013 01:55:04 PM PST


On Jan. 18, three of the four screens in Moraga’s New Rheem Theatre complex will go dark indefinitely as the historic movie palace succumbs to modern-day Americans With Disabilities Act code issues.

An aging elevator, diagnosed by the McKinley Elevator and Hankin Specialty Elevators firms as “unrepairable,” means access to the three upper-level theaters is no longer available to disabled patrons.

Theater owner and operator Derek Zemrak said, “Obviously, we want to comply with the ADA. We’ve worked on the elevator for 2¿1/2 years and put in more than $10,000 to keep it operating. Last month, it just broke down completely.”

Letters and verbal complaints from area residents who claimed the malfunctioning lift was discriminatory to seniors, along with a recent fine from the Department of Justice, which oversees ADA compliance, clinched the deal, Zemrak said.

“Even though the theater is thriving, with increased attendance across the board, it’s like dodging an eight-ball,” he admitted.

The elevator, which rises along a curved path instead of vertically, will cost $30,000 to replace. The circuit boards are outdated, and parts to repair other deteriorating elements no longer exist, which means repair is not an option.

“Some of the same people who complained are now saying ‘Oh, this is tragic,’ so we all want to get over this hurdle and get it up to code,” Zemrak said.

Until the issue is resolved, the Rheem will be a one-screen theater.


For the full story, go to:



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