The rehabbed 1937 historic theater and megaplex has a certain charm about it, namely owed to its fifty-foot screen, balcony, and Art Deco architecture, courtesy of Timothy Pflueger.
Nestled between Alamedas bustling Park Street and Alameda High School, this 92-year-old hall draws about 250 people on Friday nights for dancing to live zydeco, and occasional Saturdays for swing. These weekly gigs are not too unlike a church function -- except for the full bar hidden in the back corner — with punch bowls filled with Oreos, pretzels, and chocolate chip cookies, and regulars who affectionately call each other by name. Tables line the wooden dance floor in this four-hundred-capacity hall, and its easy to see why people of all ages and walks of life from rockabillies to pimply-faced teens in Nirvana T-shirts to your aunt who frequents Ashkenaz come for the guaranteed crowd and, oh yeah, the handy dance lesson beforehand.
It's impossible to be all things to all people, but this cafe at the end of Park Street in Alameda almost succeeds. This space is a hodgepodge of creativity: A variety of hippie arts and crafts for sale, such as rain sticks and beaded baskets, fill up the space, plus there are regular crafts nights, and poetry readings. Order a pot of black lavender tea and start knitting at one of the large wooden tables. No one will kick you out.
The quirky museum houses some ninety-odd pinball machines, some dating back to 1871, which, after paying admission, attendees can play to their hearts' content. The museum also has an art gallery that hosts rotating exhibits.
The aircraft carrier saw action in World War II and Vietnam, and acted as a recovery ship for Apollo 11 and 12. Now a museum, it boasts an impressive collection of jet fighters, helicopters and exhibits.