The Pioneer

The Pioneer

UC Theatre grand reopening postponed

Photo+Coutesy+of+Berkeley+Music+Group
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UC Theatre grand reopening postponed

Photo Coutesy of Berkeley Music Group

Photo Coutesy of Berkeley Music Group

Photo Coutesy of Berkeley Music Group

Photo Coutesy of Berkeley Music Group

Kali Persall,
Managing Editor

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The grand reopening of Berkeley’s historic UC Theatre on March 25 was postponed due to electrical issues, which resulted in one show being canceled and another rescheduled, confirmed David Meyeri, owner of the venue and president of Berkeley Music Group.

After 15 years of vacancy, the repertory theater-turned-music venue was scheduled to reopen after over a year of renovations that were headed by Mayeri, who has over 35 years of experience managing live entertainment venues.

According to Meyeri, a construction project on the street outside the venue exposed gas lines obstructing the building’s electrical vault, the underground room that contains electrical transformers and other public utility equipment.

The pipes restricted the building from receiving permanent power and required a complete upgrade of the power system, which cost an estimated $250,000, said Meyeri.

The grand reopening kick-off show by rock band They Might Be Giants was cancelled on March 25 and ticket-holders received a refund and a promise to reschedule. The next day’s Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue show was also canceled with no promise of a later showing, according to Mayeri.

“People are very understanding of what happened and they’re very excited to have this reopen as a music venue,” said Meyeri. “They didn’t want us to reschedule and we didn’t want to as well, but that’s the hand we were dealt.”

The 109-year-old building served as a movie theater from 1917 until 2001, when the long-time former owner Gary Meyer closed the building because he didn’t wanting to invest in a expensive seismic retrofit, a routine requirement for historic buildings, according to an article written by The Pioneer last month.

In it’s prime, the historic venue was frequented by well-known people like Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia and Linwood Dunn, the special effects wizard behind the 1933 film King Kong.

According to Mayeri, the theatre has successfully held three shows since it opened last Thursday and has at least ten more lined up in the coming weeks. The goal is to host 100 shows a year, said Mayeri.

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California State University East Bay
UC Theatre grand reopening postponed