I accidentally ended up with a ticket to the Alameda Theater Gala last night (and by accidentally, I mean a friend just happened to end up with an extra while I was on the phone with them). I had planned on going to see Indiana Jones at midnight, just for fun, but until about 1pm hadn’t planned on attending the earlier festivities (it sold out).
First off, the consensus is that the theater is beautiful. Much awe was overheard. As discussed in the comments earlier in the week, the theater has what appears to be Alameda’s second escalator, and it’s longest escalator (wahoo!). The place was hopping (Emcee Jeff Raz summed it up best when he said “Wow, this is a side of Alameda I haven’t seen in a long time” (it’s late, it’s not a direct quote). People were decked out to the nines) and the festivities really got underway around 7:45 with introductions of all the local electeds (councilmembers, school board, county supervisor, both major State Senate candidates).
Through all the congratulations, I was really happy to see City Staffer Jennifer Ott receive the loudest, warmest round of applause of the evening. She took a lot of crap through this project and she worked hard to get it done, she earned the hearty praise/thanks.
It was great to see such an interesting cross-section of people all really excited. From the heavy theater supporters to people who were just excited to have the theater open. It was fun to see a number of Alameda teens that I know working at the theater, it made a local/community connection that I hadn’t really thought about.
Three amusing episodes. The first was School Boardmember Mike McMahon getting up on stage only to end up standing more or less behind the curtain because there were so many people up there with him. As someone attempted to pull the curtain back, it swayed back and forth, and Mike ended up swaying back and forth with it. Hi sense of humor was greatly appreciated.
The second was a technical difficulty with the digital projection which had the screen showing what was essentially white-noise while the audio talked about the state of the art equipment. It was clearly a very minor glitch, but an ironic one that most of the crowd seemed to appreciate.
Lastly, when one of the promo reels took a minute or so longer than planned, one audience member started “singing” the Indiana Jones theme and soon after the majority of the audience had joined in with Jeff Raz conducting. It seems silly to write about, but at the time it was indicative of the effervescent feeling in the room.
Indiana Jones was amusing (not mindblowing, but I wasn’t expecting mindblowing) and seeing it on the big screen and then getting on my bike and being home 6 minutes later was really nice.
Whether you’re planning on actually going to the movies this weekend or not, I’d highly recommend stopping by for the opening ceremonies and tours on Saturday (10am-1pm).