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El Cerrito, Oakland Speakeasy Theaters Close

The East Bay Express is reporting that the two-theater “Speakeasy Theaters” chain has now closed both their Oakland Theater and their El Cerrito Theater.

We’re still waiting to hear a first-anniversary update from City of Alameda staff on the state of the Alameda Theater and cineplex. It was May 2008 that the Alameda Theater opened with subsequent protests from the projectionists union over the use of non-union labor to run the equipment. (The projectionists have told us they are still waiting for an agreement from Alameda Entertainment Associates, the company that runs the theater.)

And as we have reported, the cineplex and attached parking structure don’t seem to be the big retail sales tax revenue drivers that Alameda taxpayers were promised.

We’re hoping what we assume is a forthcoming one-year report on the $40 million project will attempt to directly tie sales tax revenue to the theater, and show that it is successful (although we are skeptical) and not likely to close like the Speakeasies.

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