The hosts for our video tour were Randy and Karen, who are the managers and operators and caretakers of The Parkway Oakland Theater for its owners – a group of 56 investors who gathered together and put blood, sweat, and tears into the renovation of a space that was once used by the Occupy Oakland Movement. Now, it picks up on the spirit of the original Parkway Oakland Theater, where you can lounge on big, overstuffed couches and eat great pizza or drink gourmet beer and wine – or just watch a movie.
And it’s in the movies where The Parkway gained its fame. When I visited, Randy and Karen were working out the color for the screening of “Queen of Outer Space,” the 1958 sci-fi movie starring Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eric Fleming, and Laurie Mitchell. It’s slated to be shown this weekend, starting Sunday. It will be presented by the QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE with guest host Queen’s Slumber Party from Thrillville.
For those who remember the first Parkway Theater on 18th St near Park and Lake Merritt, you recall Will Vaharo and his “Thrillville” – a time where a vintage film, or.. Well, let Will describe it:
“For many years, Will “the Thrill” and his wife Monica “Tiki Goddess” Cortes hosted a live cult movie cabaret called “Thrillville” featuring classic drive-in/grindhouse cinema and live burlesque acts, which still influence his work. ”
And the good news is that “Thrillville” is still going strong at The New Parkway.
So, come and visit this great place hidden in the middle of Uptown Oakland. Help keep the sprit of The Parkway Oakland Alive. And for those who don’t know that history, check out the Parkway Oakland Playlist of videos at Zennie62 on YouTube – the only full video history of what happened to the old Parkway Theater, as it happened, including interviews with the original owners Kyle and Katherine Fisher.