Rheem Theater To Close

Laila Abtahi and Jessica Coleman

It’s time to say goodbye to Lamorinda’s treasured social link, otherwise known as the Rheem Theater. After 53 years of business, landlord Mike Puri decided to close the theater due to a considerable decline in customers.

According to assistant manager Hoda Saki, the theater’s profits decreased 30% since last year.

Once word spread of theater being jeopardized, nearby residents quickly started showing their discontent by purchasing more movie tickets. Blindside has been popular and is one of the reasons Puri decided to postpone the closing date from Dec. 3 to later this month.

Employees displayed their grief by creating a food drive in order to collect funds. The staff rewarded every tenth donor with free movie passes and popcorn but the plan didn’t accumulate enough money. Some of the members, along with other disheartened civilians created Facebook groups such as “Save the Theater.”

Moms of Moraga sent emails circulating around the town to rally more support of a running theater.

The Orinda Theatre guaranteed Rheem Theater’s manager David Corkins a position as co-manager, but the majority of the staff at Rheem Theater rely on the cinema in order to support themselves.

“We’re trying to work out a deal with the landlord to stop the theater from closing. Our goal is to get more people to come in, but it has to be steady,” said Saki.

Once the theater shuts, its shell will still exist, but its content will disappear. Moraga cannot replace the theater with another business since it’s a historical landmark.

The thought of passing by the unlit building in the future saddened some Miramonte students.

“It makes me very sad because I liked watching movies there and sometimes I got in for free,” said junior Taylor Armosino.

In the mean time, the more support, the more likely Rheem Theater will live a longer life.