The lights are back on at the Elmwood Theatre in Berkeley, and online ticket sales restored, after the movie house was shuttered by a car crash earlier this week.
"We're very happy," said Rialto Cinemas Elmwood owner Ky Boyd on Friday. "And we're thrilled that we're gonna get to open Oppenheimer tonight — and all of our other movies, too."
A city inspection found no structural damage to the movie house after Wednesday's crash, which was caused by a poodle that jumped into the front seat of a car, startling the driver, according to police.
Boyd said he was relieved and grateful that the city had been able to assess the damage and grant approval to reopen so quickly.
He thanked city staff, the Elmwood Theatre Foundation and Elmwood Councilman Mark Humbert for the speedy response.
Councilman Humbert, too, credited city staff for all the hard work.
"The director of planning, Jordan Klein, really came through," Humbert said. "He’s the hero of the moment."
Humbert said he'll be at the Elmwood on Friday night for the Oppenheimer premiere. (The Berkeley Scanner will be there for the Saturday evening screening.)
Klein, in turn, said other city staffers were the ones who made the difference.
"It’s very nice of Councilmember Humbert to credit me, but the real credit is due to David Lopez, Darrell Chappell, and other Building and Safety staff who responded so promptly and thoroughly to help ensure that the theater could reopen safely," he said shortly after publication. "I’m so glad that we were able to provide prompt assistance to support the team at the Elmwood Theatre."
Wednesday's car crash damaged historic tiles and poster cases outside the movie theater and cut off electricity to the box office.
The electrical issue has now been fixed, and the Elmwood will seek permits "first thing" Monday to do the other repair work. (The permit office is closed for business Friday).
"Right now it's just covered with caution tape," Boyd said, of the damaged front wall. "There will be a temporary wall there while they source the tile and repair it."
Boyd said he would be at the Elmwood all day Friday, as well as present for the Saturday night showings.
"I'm gonna be welcoming people at all of the screenings," he said.
Boyd said many community members stopped by this week to offer well wishes to the Elmwood, which is now Berkeley's only first-run movie house. (BAMPFA downtown offers a top-notch selection of the classics.)
"It's been amazing," Boyd said Friday. "People have been stopping by. People have been very supportive and asking how they can help. It's been wonderful. It's nice to see that people are vested in this theater and its success."
As for how people can still help support the theater after this week's closure, Boyd said it's simple.
"Come see movies!" he said. "Buy popcorn."
Find ticket sales information and showtimes on the Elmwood Theatre's website.