The historic Oaks Theater on Solano Boulevard has closed once again and the property owner is looking for a new operator.
The theater, built in 1925, was being run by Merriment Media Works for nine months but ceased operations shortly before Christmas.
Property owner John Gordon said the group had plans to add food and drinks with foreign films on the screen, emphasizing Bollywood fare.
"They owned a Bollywood theater in the Fremont area," Gordon said. "They said they were going to convert the theater to digital. They were also film importers and could download their films. They were going to do other foreign films on one screen and second run on the other."
The phone at Merriment Media Works has been disconnected and the operators could not be reached for comment.
Gordon said that the group tried to bring in Bollywood stars for events but still couldn't draw.
The previous operator, Metropolitan Theaters of Southern California, decided not to renew the lease early last year. Merriment Media Works then stepped in to take over the theater.
Gordon said once some legal issues are taken care of, he will try to find a new operator. "Once we get control we're in a better position to start marketing it," he said.
Gordon would like the building to continue to be a theater, either with movies or live performances.
"We need to get another operator in there who understands movie theaters. I think this is still viable because there is such a strong population in that area," Gordon said.
There's opportunity at the location for "someone who understands the area and knows what works in the community," he said.
The Oaks was designed by the Reid Brothers, who also designed Oakland's Grand Lake Theater, as well as the Cliff House and the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. According to the website cinematreasures.org, it has 1,438 seats.
In 1973, the Oaks was split into two theaters. It was renovated in 1994 when Renaissance Rialto took it over. Allen Michaan, who runs the Grand Lake, operated the theater until 2005, when Metropolitan took over.