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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cerrito Theater needs you now

The Cerrito Theater needs you – now!

On Monday night, May 4, the El Cerrito City Council will be asked to decide: What is the future of the Cerrito Theater?

Everyone who loves the theater should come to this meeting to show their support for its continued operation.

The meeting is at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave. at 7:30 p.m. The item is expected to come up around 8:30 p.m. Members of the public can speak during public comments at the start of the meeting, or when the item comes up. It is not necessary to speak. Supporters of the theater will be asked to stand at one point to show their support. It is not necessary to live in El Cerrito to attend or to speak.

This will be the council’s first public meeting on the theater since it was revealed that the current operators have fallen behind on rent. The discussion will be entirely open to the public.

The council has repeatedly affirmed its intention to maintain the Cerrito as a movie theater, whether with the current operators or with someone new. The city, which owns the theater, worked with the current operator, Speakeasy Theaters, to develop a plan for financial assistance. At last report the plan was not accepted by Speakeasy. The city has studied the theater’s operation closely and determined that running the theater as a cinema with food is a viable business.

The position of Friends of the Cerrito Theater is: We support continuing operation of the theater either with Speakeasy or with a new operator. Friends is a community organization with no official link to either Speakeasy or the city of El Cerrito.

The council supports the theater because it is a wonderful community asset. That’s why we need the community to show up to prove it!

The agenda for the meeting, with a staff report outlining the issues and the background, will be available Thursday at www.el-cerrito.org/gov/. Click on the “City Council Agenda” link at the top of the page.

For more information or questions, email davidsweinstein@yahoo.com.

- Dave Weinstein
Run dates: 2009-05-03 - 2009-05-04

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