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Indybay Feature

Picket the new Parkway this weekend - Oakland's newest scab theater

Saturday, December 22, 2012
11:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
474 24th St Oakland CA 94612
(between Telegraph and Broadway)

Oakland, listen up: On Saturday December 22nd, the New Parkway is set to have their grand opening. While I know that this is exciting news for many Oaklanders that once frequented the Parkway because it will bring back cheap movie tickets, pizza and beer, the fact of the matter is that the New Parkway will be nothing like the old theater. The original Parkway was always a Union Shop that employed projectionists from IATSE Local 169. The ownership of the New Parkway refuses to negotiate with Local 169 and instead is using scab technicians to install the projection equipment and plans on using managers to run the film. In sum, it will be a scab theater.

Local 169 will be picketing the theater this Saturday and Sunday (opening weekend) 11:30Am to 7pm to demonstrate to the theater owners that Oaklanders do not want another scab theater in our community. We are looking to make this a big event hoping that it will force owner J Moses Cesar to negotiate with our union and hire union workers. We are requesting our union sisters and brothers (as well as community members) join us in picketing the theater this weekend.
Added to the calendar on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 8:19PM

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Chris
The New Parkway is digital. No projectionist involved. Just a central computer system.
by Frank T.
Just curious, what other theaters in Oakland are non-union?
this was posted to a Facebook thread on the New Parkway's page after they called the picketers "misguided". The New Parkway has now posted another thread on their FB page dishonestly addressing the issue and their will be more information posted there. Though the best way to get to know the issue is to listen to the people on the picket, especially the women who used to run the old Parkway's projection booth.

"Hey guys! I was alerted to this thread a couple of hours ago and I've just gotten done reading all of the comments, and all I can say is wow. I had no idea people would get so heated over the issue of trying to negotiate a contract between The New Parkway and IATSE Local 169. So to clarify who I am, I'm Christine Genualdi, and I was the head projectionist at the original Parkway for 6 years. I loved that theater, and I really tried my hardest to do my part to keep that theater running by cutting corners with equipment repairs as much as I could. So yes I ran 35mm there, but I also ran digital shows, and did maintenance around the theater (ie. basic electrical work to help keep costs low).

Anyhow, I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of confusion as to what we want, and why we are targeting a local business and not a big corporate theater such as AMC. I will start out with what we are looking for first. All we want is a to be involved with the New Parkway, whether it is by supplying a projectionist (yes, there still needs to be someone who can press the play button on the digital projector, and to load the film properly into the system as well as any trailers), or a tech contract where one of our experienced technicians will come in to fix any issues that the digital projectors, and/or sound system may have. (I've seen that people are hung up on the digital projectors in this thread, it seems that everyone has forgotten about the complexity of theater sound systems.) I understand not wanting to hire a full-time projectionist, because it is common for theaters to use managers to run movies. Hell, I was a manager before I became a union projectionist, and I ran movies as a part of my job. Even at the Old Parkway, I was an assistant manager/projectionist to help keep costs low, and I was obviously still union. I guess what I'm saying is that there a lot of different options for the New Parkway, we would just like the opportunity to have serious negotiations outside of email to figure something out that would be beneficial for both parties.

Now back to why we don't picket theaters like AMC, and I guess we could also lump in Landmark with that as well. The reasoning is that we actually have contracts with these corporations, and we have for years. That's why we are so quiet on those fronts. And as you know these theaters are all digital, and we have worked with them to do mainly tech work. But for the more finicky booths, these theaters have union projectionists employed to keep things running as smoothly as possible.

I hope I have been able to clarify any misunderstandings that people may have. If you have any questions, please come down to the New Parkway and talk with me or any of my union sisters and brothers in person. We are nice and civil and we won't make anyone feel bad for asking questions or having counter arguments (unless the counter arguments entail telling anyone to "get a life" or "get a job" or any other mean spirited comments, then you'll just make me feel bad).

Finally, I wish nothing but success for the New Parkway because I understand that it does benefit the community, just like how the Old Parkway benefited the community of East Oakland. All I'm asking for is that IATSE Local 169 be invited to be a part of this community once again. Thank you for reading this, and I hope to see you tomorrow."

here is the link to the New Parkway fb page -
by irlandeso
"Hey everyone. So currently IATSE 169 is in talks with the new parkway. It doesn't mean that we are close to reaching an agreement, and I'm highly suspicious of the counter offer. But for now we are standing down the pickets until further notice. Thank you for your support. And I will keep everyone updated. (please repost this to spread the word)"
by jcasetnl
Why should any theater support you in the age of digital cinema? Instead of bullying theaters, why don't you support re-training your membership as certified home theater installers so that as work continues to disappear in theaters they have something to fall back on? Real Estate Agents built up the Realtor brand to distinguish themselves from other real estate agents, and they didn't need to resort to bullying small businesses to stay relevant - what is your union doing to do likewise?

Don't speak for "Oaklanders" and proclaim we don't want another "scab theater". Read the comments on the New Parkway's facebook - the majority are against your fascist manipulation of the theater industry. Add value, or get out.

I was doing a search and found the post from Moses from the New Parkway saying that Local 169 is now (since spring?) in contract with the New Parkway to provide on-call services (like the projectioninst said in the post above from December) and that the managers will continue to operate the digital projectors. Is that not true? Why were there picketers outside New Parkway on Sunday 8/31?
I'm still trying to get information about this picketing, but so far, the only person willing to talk to me about it has been the manager at the New Parkway. I even drove to the New Parkway and tried to engage the two men who were picketing outside but only one of the guys would speak at all and he would not speak to me - he spent the entire time talking at my husband, who was not asking any questions. It makes it hard to get both sides of the story if you don't give out much information. The picketer said "They're not negotiating", but didn't offer any other information specific to the situation.

The manager told me you're at a impasse. Do you agree? What is being done to get beyond that? Would you be open to mediation/arbitration?
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