More than a year and a half after the sudden closing of Oakland’s beloved Parkway Theater in March 2009, and following the failures of a string of suitors, it appears the theater is finally poised to reopen. In a formal announcement made this afternoon, local entrepreneur and photographer J. Moses Ceaser, who’s behind the latest effort — dubbed The New Parkway — said he’s one or two weeks away from finalizing a contract with the theater’s owners. Given the level of buy-in he’s recieved from the owners and their initial approval of his offer and terms, Ceaser said he’s confident the deal will go through. He also said Oakland Councilwoman Pat Kernighan and Redevelopment Agency representative Teresa Navarro-Lopez have thrown their weight behind the project, pledging to help with some of the financial costs associated with reopening the theater, including roof, electrical, and plumbing repairs.
“I think the number one priority for that district is the Parkway Theater,” Ceaser said in an interview. Kernighan and other City Council members “know this is going to be a really good business move for the city.” Assuming a lease is signed before the end of the year, he said, the Parkway could reopen by next Spring or early Summer.
We’ll have more details in next week’s paper, so stay tuned.