In the most recent of our many articles and blog posts on the ever-engrossing Parkway Theater saga over the last few years, we explained that if Moses Ceaser of The New Parkway isn't able to find a home for the theater by December 31, he may well dissolve the outfit.
Ceaser has dedicated countless hours to reopening Oakland's beloved theater over the past eighteen months, and has represented the best — and, in many ways, the only — shot at resurrecting the theater in its former image. The Oakland resident has also proven that he has the city's best interests at heart, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from supporters who have rallied behind the Parkway cause. Yet the critical piece of the puzzle, a place to invest that money, has remained elusive. Dissolution of The New Parkway would be a huge loss for Oakland, impacting both its business community and its culture. But that's exactly what may happen if Ceaser isn't able to nail down a home for the Parkway in the next three weeks.
See Ceaser's most recent letter to his email list below. His contact information is included at the end.
Dear Parkway Lover:
Is this our last month together? Will we have a deal in place before the end of the month and move forward or will we be thwarted in our efforts to find a place and bring an end to our efforts to reopen the Parkway? It will be one of the two, making this a very big month. Here’s what’s going on:
Location, Location, Location—Last month, we learned that our offer to buy 2800 Broadway was in second position, and that the sellers were in contract with the Volkswagen dealer to sell him the building. It was especially saddening because we think that we were the higher offer dollars-wise, but we had more contingencies and a longer window to close. So we lost out to a more solid offer, and we’re sadly not moving in to that location.
With such little time left, we’ve circled back to every viable location to see if there might be a deal to be had. Towards this end, we’ve offered to buy the Parkway building, we’ve made offers to both buy and lease a Temescal location, and we’re working on a lease in Uptown. All three of these locations have been on the market for years and we’ve made good offers for each. But I’m still not optimistic that we’ll get something done, just because these landlords don’t seem very motivated to get something done. At the very least, they’re aware of our urgency, so we’ll know something soon. I’m guessing that there’s a 25% chance of success, and until that dwindles to zero or 2011 ends, I’ll do everything in my power to find a home for the New Parkway.
Plans for Dissolution—At the same time as we try to close a deal, we’re also getting ready, if need be, to wrap up our operations. Within the week, our investors will be voting whether to dissolve the LLC at year’s end, which I expect will happen if a deal is not in place, and we’ll take care of all of the necessary steps to do precisely that. And one big piece of that is…
Returning Kickstarter and Membership Monies—We’ve hatched a plan to get money back to everyone who donated money to the cause, either through Kickstarter or through membership purchases. You’ll be getting an email in a week’s time letting you know how it’s all going to operate, and you’ll have a choice of the following:
1) getting your money back by mail
2) getting your money back via PayPal
3) getting your money back in person at an Eastlake establishment
4) donating your money to a local film-related nonprofit.
So stay tuned for that information—it will be sent out through many avenues so that we can be sure you get it—and we’ll need for you to act fast, getting back to us so that we can close everything out by year’s end. We certainly hope that it won’t come to this and that we’ll indeed be able to reopen the Parkway, but if we don’t, we’ve given you our word that we’ll return your funds in their entirety by year’s end.
Archive of Newsletters—If you’ve missed out on some of the past New Parkway News, you can now find an archive of all of them at www.TheNewParkway.com/NPNews.
Join the Mailing List—For anyone who would like to join the mailing list, you may do so at: http://thenewparkway.com/mailinglist.html.
Unsubscribe—if you’ve had enough of these missives, you can always unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for your support of the New Parkway!
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J Moses Ceaser
The New Parkway