El Cerrito, CA
Client: Speakeasy Theaters
Architect: Lerner & Holan Architects
The Cerrito Theater was built in 1937 and closed its doors in the early 60s, becoming a furniture warehouse for 40 years. In 2001 the building finally went on the market and soon after, an advocacy group, Friends of the Cerrito Theater, was formed and the group persuaded the City to purchase the theater.
BBI Construction performed pre-construction and construction services to renovate the historic theater. An effort was made to preserve as many of the original elements as possible. Among the elements that were restored were the art deco murals of Greek gods and dancing maidens around the original screen and barrel ceiling.
An entire second story was built to house the second movie screen. Also built within the theater were two cafes. The two theaters hold a combined 300 to 350 people.
The project received a Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation in 2007.