A Glimpse of Hollywood

A Glimpse of Hollywood

In 1972 my family went to see the Poseidon Adventure at the Alameda Theatre when I was eight years old. It was thrilling, scary, and powerful; the movie was too! The old theatre was so amazing with its shapes, sounds, smells, and colors that I was instantly captivated and became a movie fan for life. Tickets were $1, the popcorn was warm, and the seats were softer and more comfortable than any chairs in our house on Pearl Street.

I went back countless times and soared to far away imaginary places such as to the Rollerball finals with Houston facing off against New York, Amity Island to be right there with Chief Brody, and the steps of Philadelphia on a chilly November morning with Rocky Balboa.
I even ventured into a concert with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson once, stood toe to toe with Michael Myers to protect Jamie Lee Curtis, and finally encouraged Chuck Norris as he proved to us Good Guys Wear Black in 1978. Sadly, the next year, the Alameda Theatre closed for so many long years.

Phenomenally, the old movie house was reborn after decades with a new spirit and a new future. The current owner, Kyle Conner, has forged a magnificent palace of entertainment and wonder. It is the old with the new, the memories and facets of yesteryear in concert with the images and promise of today.

I was so very fortunate to go back to my “home away from home” tonight on October 21, 2022, fifty years after my “adventure” on the Poseidon with Ernest Borgnine and Gene Hackman. I didn’t see a movie, but I shook hands with greatness in the presence of Alameda Legend Paul Yazolino! I stood by his side as he was honored by enthusiastic frontman and talented presenter Mark Landreth.

The night was ultimately about friendship and inspiration as we met old friends and new ones! It was so great to see Cillo Posadas, Lulu Yazolino, Dino Muzio, Renee Bernadou (daughter of legendary Alameda Coach LeRoy Bernadou), Danny Tuazon, and other locals (and former locals) engaging in storytelling and smiles.

And the Academy Award for Best Theatre goes to...the Historic Alameda Theatre!!!

Thank you for your consideration.

James Francis McGee is an Alameda native and author of the Alameda Legends book series.