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Three Screens At Rheem Theatre Go Dark

Update: Moraga theatre needs to replace staircase elevator to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act code; upstairs screens dormant as of Jan. 18.

Updated, 3:15pm Wed.

The three upstairs screens at the New Rheem Theatre in Moraga are closing as of Friday, Jan. 18.

The theatre has received complaints from residents about lack of compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act due to an old, out-of-repair elevator that can lift one wheelchair at a time up the sweeping curve of the theatre's staircase.

The elevator will cost $30,000 to replace and could take three months to complete, the Contra Costa Times reported. A fourth screen on the ground level remains operational.

"I think it is very important to have a local theater," wrote Lafayette resident Claire Phillips. "I always make the effort to see any film at either Rheem or Orinda or the CineArts theater in Pleasant Hill if given the chance. I think the Rheem Theatre has been very creative in trying new things, such as film festival movies, different types of seating, etc. I hope this issue can be resolved to keep them open, or everyone loses."

Lafayette Raised January 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM
I hope those who operate the Rheem Theater are aware of SB 1186: http://www.calrest.org/newsroom/articles/legislative-update-sb-1186-brings-major-changes-to-construction-related-accessibility-claims/
CJ January 16, 2013 at 11:47 PM
SB1186 doen't stop the owner from getting the shaft it spells out how long and thick it will be before inserting said shaft.
Orindan January 17, 2013 at 04:25 PM
CJ, the Rheem Theatre is a historical entity, just like like the Orinda Theatre, which was "saved" many years ago. I conclude from your comments that you have not paid a visit to the Rheem in a long time. The Rheem offers the typical current movies, but more importantly, also holds classic movie nights, green/environmental movie nights, dances and a Haunted House during Halloween. This "frivolous entertainment" is enjoyed by many in Lamorinda at prices below the big chain theatres. The current owners objectinve of a community theatre is wonderful! Who else does this these days? Fundraising to keep the Rheem from closing would be an admirable quest.
CJ January 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM
You can call it a Historical entity but that does not make it so. The only historic designation worthy structures in the area are at Saint Mary's.. I tried to avoid my personal opinion about the theatre , but your snarky remark demands a reply of equal tone. I have been to the theatre last year and found the experience to be less than pleasant and will not be coming back. My feelings are the same for the Orinda theatre. I go to WC and sit in comfortable seating, with digital screens and the latest Dolby or THX sound that is clean and the space is relatively well conditioned by HVAC systems that actually work. Apparently the vast majority of the movie going public agrees with me. Every theatre hosts other events because they have seating during off hours available, nothing special with that. Didn't they cancel all the dances due to the inappropriate behavior of the punks promoting it? Haunted House? Really? There are many of those all over. Movies are frivolous entertainment. What else would you call them? But if sitting in a dilapidated rundown old relic of a theatre gets you excited. More power to ya. It takes all kinds. FWIW- I do feel bad for the them due to the ADA issue. Nobody needs that hurdle to jump given their marketing position. Such as it is.
sherry January 18, 2013 at 05:48 AM
Mark your calendar! February 24th 2013 for the Oscar Party at the Rheem Theatre! Watch the Oscars on the Big Screen! The evening includes red carpet arrival with photo op, dinner (provided by Shelby’s), wine, champagne, gift bag, souvenir wine glass and door prizes!

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