|Posted on September 28, 2022|
|Orinda Theater lease extended for five years|
|By Sora O’Doherty|
Derek Zemrak and Leonard Pirkle, who have operated the Orinda Theater for 12 years, recently renegotiated a five-year extension to their lease on the building, which was due to expire in November.
According to Steve Harwood of the Lamorinda Arts Council, Zemrak and Pirkle “exploited the theater with a passion for film and other forms of entertainment, bringing a wide variety of films to the community, the cabaret program Live at the Orinda! world class, comedy nights and other entertainment Harwood said Orinda is lucky that Zemrak and Pirkle continue to run the Orinda Theater.
In the past, Zemrak and Pirkle have maintained the theater, often, Harwood noted, with their own work as well as that of family and friends. As part of their commercial lease, tenants are responsible for maintenance and improvement costs. A recent improvement worth noting is the Meyer sound systems installed in large and medium sized theaters.
During the pandemic, Zemrak and Pirkle have worked to raise funds to maintain the theater, including a GoFundMe campaign that raised $275,000. “Because they are directly responsible for maintenance and improvements,” Horwood noted, “they may approach the community for financial support in the future. If they do, I urge the community to help support.”
In addition to showing films and hosting live performances, the theater hosts the Lamorinda Idol finals. The Lamorinda Arts Council pays market rates to hire the theater for these performances.