Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's Official: Speakeasy Theaters Is a Goner

By Nate Seltenrich
Tue, May 26, 2009 at 2:55 PM

In an email sent out just minutes ago, owners Kyle and Catherine Fischer confirmed what many fans and followers of the former two-theater chain saw looming on the horizon: Speakeasy Theaters is no more. Last Friday, with the announced "temporary" closure of the Cerrito theater (exactly two months after the March 22 shuttering of the Parkway in Oakland, in case you're counting), we predicted this news would soon arrive -- though perhaps not this soon. No public announcement as to the future of either theater has yet been made, but it seems likely that new owners will step in at some point (post-recession, perhaps?) to continue to maintain and operate these fine community theaters. Read the Fischers' warmhearted farewell below, including bits about a shrink and long walks on the beach.

Speakeasy Theaters is signing off.

Thank you for 14 amazing years. What a long, strange trip it's been. We are proud of what we've built and are looking forward to whatever is next. We've built community, lovingly restored two beautiful theaters, met some wild and wonderful people and learned a lot along the way.

Our public demise has been glowingly at hand and we are here to bear witness, rejoice and mourn. It has been a fitful, exciting, exhausting and eventually frustrating tenure but it was a true representation of us. Catherine and I had a blast in the process and through the guidance of our genius shrink, learned much about our real selves.

Catherine and I are mulling over our next adventure. We need to walk the beach, clear our minds and let the universe speak to us. That's how we found Speakeasy Theaters, our publishing company before that and the neighborhood pub. The beach heals what ails. Thanks to all of you who have enjoyed what we have offered, who have shared in our vision and who love the idea of building and sharing community.

It is awesome and often extremely embarrassing to have your life play out in such a public manner. But you learn that you must strive to be bold in attempting to be true to your realest self. For better or for worse this has been an expression of our essence and people will judge us as they choose. Hey - whatever. We are at the same time amazing and flawed. Life is a great teacher. Rejoice.

Kyle and Catherine

PS. We had some wonderful employees. If any of them should pass your way, please offer them your assistance or a job. They served with very little compensation.

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