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Re: “Speakeasy Theaters to Withdraw from Cerrito

Unlike you-slug-at least Ken had the courage to give his true name.
I think that you have a lot of good points about the need to revitalize this area of El Cerrito, but in my opinion this should be in addition to what the city has done for itself, ie: a new city hall to replace the ugly temporary trailers that they have been occupying for so many years, and the support of the tax-producing establishments at the plaza. What you fail to address is if the Fischers were supposed to be paying $10,000.00 per month, and didn't, then what did they do with the income from the theater? They admit that the staff "served with very little compensation" in their sign-off email. Makes me wonder what an audit of the books, or their income tax filings would reveal?
Unlike Ken, I think the city did the right thing by using taxpayer dollars for the theater rebuild. You, slug, point out rightly that the Albany Twin, along with perhaps Montero's in my opinion, have anchored the foot of Solano activities.
I think where the city blew it was getting the Fischers on board. Perhaps what the city should have done was get the Albany theater owners involved, instead of listening to the rosy pictures(no pun intended) portrayed by the Fischers, who may have supported their narrow and perhaps limited view of film choices, as evidenced by the failure of the Parkway. I mean how long can you show the Rocky Horror film before all of your aged audience dies off? I think the Fischers are stuck in a time warp, and milked both theaters for all they were worth. If they didn't have to support their Parkway film selection habits, maybe they might have had enough funds to show some good first run films. But they don't appear to have been risk takers, merely takers.
As I too was able to merely walk 5 minutes to the Cerrito, I will miss it.
But as the Fischers live in a not-too-shaby part of the Berkeley-Oakland neighborhood in a nice home, it makes one kind of wonder what kind of money was really being made from their 2 ventures?
There are a lot of "earthy new-age" entrepreneurs in this area, and I've personally had encounters with some local employers who stiff/low pay their employees, while maintaining a very comfortable living standard themselves in desirable neighborhoods.
I would suggest there's a lot going on here that's not on the surface.

don plante, another ticked-off El Cerrito taxpayer who feels snookered not by the city, but by another comfy-feely entrepreneur off to the beach to search for another way to milk the system.

Posted by don plante on 05/28/2009 at 8:27 PM

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