The UC Theatre – the beloved repertory cinema on University Avenue – will shut its doors Thursday fter 83 years, according to its management.
“We’re closing out at the end of this calendar,” said Ben S. Putnam, assistant manager.
The UC Theatre puts out a calendar up to four months in advance announcing what movies will be shown.
Putnam said he was not allowed to comment further, but revealed that the Shattuck Cinema five blocks away would be showing UC’s movies in the future.
Both theaters are operated by Los Angeles-based Landmark Cinemas. Landmark is owned by Dallas-based Silver Cinemas. Mike Mullin, senior vice president of operations for Silver Cinemas did not return a phone call.
Maren Beckman, a manager at Shattuck Cinema, confirmed that the theater would be picking up the UC’s calendar.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, Putnam and the other well-dressed workers at UC were waiting for the rush before the 7:10 showing of “The Legend
After buying two tickets for the show, Janet McColl was stunned when hearing the cinema was shutting down.
“It’s terrible. We need this theater, this is our arts theater,” she said. “It really fills a place for showing art films and history films. We have no other venue in the East Bay – without it we’re lost.”
In September of last year, a $600,000 state-mandated retrofit threatened a shut-down, because Landmark Cinemas said they could not pay for it. But Putnam said the announcement of the theater’s closure was made March 19.
“The theater deserves as much dignity as it can get,” he said. “As George Harrison once said, ‘All things must pass.’”