If we lived in New Zealand right now, we could go to the movies. Down under they seem to have this whole COVID-19 thing completely under control. But we’re in Trump’s America, and I’m talking about something in Oakland: the New Parkway. One of the friendliest movie theaters in the Bay Area, it offers good food, comfortable chairs, a homey atmosphere, and a sense of community.
But like all Bay Area theaters, they’re not showing movies. Knowing that the theaters won’t be open for months, they’re finding ways to keep things going.
The New Parkway recently sent out a long message about the situation and what they’re doing about it. I’ll give you the short version.
“A couple months ago, we sent out a newsletter looking forward to our reopening. At the time, an August or September reopening seemed very plausible.” But they have since “decided that we will not reopen as a movie theater until there is a vaccine or at least sufficient therapeutics that can tame the beast.”
“Trying to reopen with limited capacity AND greater health and safety requirements doesn’t make financial sense.” Not only must you have much fewer patrons, but you need more staff to make sure that everyone follows the safety rules.
“All of this adds up to us remaining closed for the rest of 2020 and likely a portion of 2021. That means no Champions League Final, no presidential debates, no Halloween classics, no Warriors-in-the-NBA Finals viewing parties, and no Elf and Fiddler on the Roof over the holidays. And maybe no Biden Inauguration breakfast, no Super Bowl Sunday, and no Valentine’s Day 2021 at the New Parkway.”
The good news: Thanks to the food delivery, a Paycheck Protection Program, and the “patrons’ incredible support,” the New Parkway is getting by financially. The crate-based food delivery seems to be the New Parkway’s primary source of income. The kitchen donates surplus food to the needy.”
With COVID-19, outdoor crowds aren’t as dangerous as indoor ones. So the New Parkway is running occasional Outdoor Movie Nights. The pictures are all family-friendly, and you don’t know what they’re showing until the last minute.
And finally, you actually can watch a movie at the New Parkway – if you can afford to rent the theater. But don’t invite everyone…they allow only six people in the audience. The rental includes a meal.
You can get the full story through the theater’s webpage.