The Magick Lantern–waiting to be reborn

The Magick Lantern, a tiny theater in Point Richmond, opened early this year, showing recent arthouse fare on weekends and classics Thursday night. I added it my Theaters link list immediately, but I never made it there to see a movie.

Then, in October, before I had a chance to visit the Magick Latern, it closed. Go to the website now, a simple wepage will tell you that

THE MAGICK LANTERN IS

CLOSED

WE ANTICIPATE RE-OPENING
VERY SOON UNDER DIFFERENT
AND BETTER CIRCUMSTANCES!
IF YOU’RE ON OUR EMAIL LIST,
WE’LL KEEP YOU POSTED ON
ALL THE DETAILS!

On Saturday afternoon, the Magick Lantern held an open house, and I finally got to visit.

Point Richmond is one of those corners of the Bay Area that feel like a small town. A handful of retail streets surround a city square, on the edge of hills.

The Magick Lantern is in the back of a modest building. The auditorium, such as it is, looks more like a small apartment living room without windows. I’d guess that it could sit 40 at most.

Apparently it looked and felt more like a theater in the months it was running. But the previous owner took the seats, the tiered platform for those seats, and the equipment when he left.

A group of determined people have formed a non-profit to bring the theater back. They’re raising money to buy the seats, the platforms, a screen, a concession stand, and a projector and sound system.

Even if they could afford it (and they can’t), I don’t think they’d have the room for a professional, DCI-compatible projector. But a modest, 1080p home projection system and a Blu-ray player would be fine in that small space. They wouldn’t be able to play new movies, but they could play almost new ones and a lot of classics.

If you want to help, send your check to:

Magick Lantern
115 Buena Vista Ave.
Richmond, CA 94801

You can also contact them at magick-lantern@att.net.