OAKLAND -- More than three years have passed since The Parkway Speakeasy Theater shut down, ending 12 years of pizza, beer and eclectic movies on Park Boulevard.

Fans fought to reopen the cinema and came close in 2010, but it just didn't happen. Instead, the Parkway is being reincarnated in an old glass-sheet factory on 24th Street in the Uptown district.

"I had hoped to be open by tonight," the new owner, J. Moses Caesar, said Wednesday. "But it's nice to do something that feels like a super-soft opening."

Caesar and other 24th Street merchants were holding a mini food and film fair called "24th on 24th" that night. A small crowd gathered in front of what will be the entrance of the Parkway. A surf band played on a makeshift stage.

"This will get you and your lovely wife into two classic movie series," said Cassady Toles, the host of classic movie night at the Alameda Theatre and Cineplex.

He handed two tickets to impresario Will "the Thrill" Viharo, the only fixture so far guaranteed to make the transition from old to new Parkway.

The two men were dressed alike, in shimmery smoking jackets.

Viharo broke away from Toles to take up his duties as impresario for the evening. He read off the list of movies showing that night at the 24th Street businesses.

The film "Ghost World" was shown at the Creative Growth Art Center (brisket biscuits, cookies and candied bacon caramel corn).

"American Graffiti" played at ER Transmissions (salsa and chips, ice cream sandwiches).

"Enter the Dragon" was at Soja Martial Arts (Brazilian cheese rolls, pies and cupcakes).

Kitchener Oakland had lamb poutine on the menu and "Night of the Living Dead" on their screen.

"That culinary classic," Viharo joked. He meant the movie.

Kitchener Oakland's founder Sophia Chang was holding Caesar's white dog when a woman on a bike looking for free food walked up to her. Chang explained that Kitchener is not a restaurant but a food business incubator and that "24th on 24th" was her idea.

The Parkway ironically was the one that didn't show a film, but the theater did have food: two boxes of pizza arrived around 6:45 p.m.

"We also have lots of food down the street at the Sweet Bar Bakery," Caesar said. The bakery was showing "Concession Stand."

The Parkway's grand reopening is Nov. 30. The opening night movie is "still up in the air," Caesar said. There will be two floors, two theaters and a cafe.

"The new Parkway is taking all the lovely things from the old Parkway and replicating them the best we can," Caesar said. "Food and beer on the couch will be standard."

They also want the reincarnation to be a quirky community space as it was at the original location and show the same kind of offbeat movies.

About 80 percent of the movies will be second run films -- "Hollywood stuff" three to five weeks old, Caesar said. The rest of the films will be local, art house, documentaries and the like.

"The old Parkway was rarely the place people went to for blockbusters," Caesar said.

The only hitch is the parking, although it was never overly abundant on Park Boulevard.

"We are an urban theater," Caesar said.

The location is close to bus lines and BART and people who come by car should be able to find a spot within a five-minute walk, he said. Some of the nearby lots may stay open evenings once the theater launches.

But the new owner does plan to improve the quality and speed of the food, offer cleaner sofas and bathrooms, and hire, as Caesar put it, a "dourless staff."