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Things to Do

Iconic Rheem Theatre Closes in Moraga

350 Park St, Moraga

A few years ago the iconic Rheem Theatre in Moraga was set to close before it got a reprieve and ended up remaining open, until now. Their final day open was yesterday but according to this East Bay Times article, Mayor Dave Trotter said that, “Moraga has a shared goal of getting the theater reopened in the near future.” I love the art deco design of this theater and hope to see it reopen, but realistically, is there any chance this will come back or is this the final good bye?

Email from Rheem Theatre:

It is with great sorrow that this Sunday, January 7, 2018, will be our final movies showing at the Rheem Theatre. It is not economically feasible to continue to operate the theater. We have an agreement with the property owner to keep everything intact in hopes that a reasonable solution can be found soon.
We have put our hearts and souls into maintaining and making the Rheem what it is today.
Thank you all for your support and patronage over the last 8 years.

Things to Do

Performing Academy Opens in Old Fire House in Pleasant Hill

Photo courtesy Performing Academy
1948 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill

Performing Academy (previously known as Lamorinda Theatre Academy) recently opened a third location in the old Fire House in Pleasant Hill on Oak Park Blvd. previously owned by Diablo Theatre Co. Find out more about Performing Academy and the owners here.

From a PR:

Lamorinda Theatre Academy (LTA), answering strong demand for additional classes and performance space to keep up with increasing student interest, announced plans to expand in Pleasant Hill by opening its third academy to be located at 1948 Oak Park Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. The space, referred to in the community as the “Fire House,” was previously owned and operated by Diablo Theatre Company (DTC), formerly known as Diablo Light Opera Company (DLOC).
LTA’s Co-Founders and Artistic Directors, Rena Wilson and Renee DeWeese, are thrilled to be expanding their organization with a third location, and in a space that holds significant meaning for both of them. “It is here where we first became friends, artists, teachers, and managers,” DeWeese notes. “We would not be where we are today without this building and the team that came before us.”
Support for this acquisition is found all around. “The purchase process was extremely collaborative and smooth thanks to the hard work of DTC board members’ Stacey Sutter and Sherry Dorfman,” says Wilson. “DLOC founders and board members were happy the building would remain in the arts and felt they were ‘keeping it in the family’ with our ownership.”
The unique 5,100 square foot facility, named Diablo Performing Academy (DPA), will feature a collaborative artistic space – including a full costume shop – for artists to build sets, rent costumes, design props, hold classes, and rehearse for performances. The site is currently available for renters, and performance classes for DPA will begin January 2, 2018, joining the curriculum for their existing locations in Lafayette and Castro Valley.

Photo courtesy Performing Academy

Things to Do

European Train Enthusiasts Display through Jan 7th in Blackhawk Plaza in Danville

Blackhawk Plaza, Danville

European Train Enthusiasts is displaying this year in Blackhawk Plaza in Danville where Read Booksellers used to be across from Draeger’s. They’ll be open 10am – 5pm Wednesday through Sunday, however they will be open December 26th and January 2nd . To find out more about ETE click here.

From the Blackhawk Museum website:

For the 16th year, the European Train Enthusiasts (ETE) will bring their HO Scale European Model Trains and Modular Layout to Blackhawk to brighten the holiday season. This year, the Layout will be located inside the Blackhawk Plaza Shopping Center adjacent to Draeger’s Market.

ETE’s Module Group has created remarkably detailed scale versions of European landscapes, including mountains, villages, bridges, farms, lakes and industries, which come alive when they operate their trains though the carefully constructed countryside.

Each day during the run of the exhibition you will see a wide selection of locomotives, freight and passenger cars from various countries in Europe as different ETE members operate the layout.

Things to Do

Preview of IMAX Theater at The Veranda in Concord

The Veranda, Concord

Just in time for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the new LUXE Cinema and IMAX theater is opening next Thursday, December 14th in the new Veranda shopping center in Concord. There will be 10 auditoriums including an 80 foot wide, 4 story tall IMAX theater. Interestingly, every seat will have full menu service and if you check out the photo of the seats after the jump you’ll see little slide-out table trays in front of each seat. There is also a full bar near the lobby with seating throughout as well as an outdoor patio. I was able to check out one of the auditoriums with a Dolby ATMOS sound system and it sounded incredible. I can’t wait to check out the IMAX theater!

More photos after the jump… Continue Reading

Things to Do

Photos with Santa through Dec 24th at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

It’s that time of year again as Santa returns to Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, this time right near Sephora, where you can get your photo with Santa.

From the Broadway Plaza Santa photos page:

Santa will be available for photos and visits at his winter home, located near Sephora and Crate&Barrel.

Reservations available, but not required!


November 17 – December 23:
MON-SAT: 10am-7pm (Break: 2pm-3pm)
SUN: 11am-6pm (Break: 2pm-3pm)
* November 23 (Thanksgiving): Closed

December 24
SAT: 9am – 6pm (Break: 2pm-3pm)

Things to Do

Baking and Brushes Studio Opens in Danville Livery

Danville Livery

A new children’s baking and art studio from the owners of Tal’s Patisserie and Pinot’s Palett recently opened in the Danville Livery on Sycamore Valley Rd. To find out more about their summer camp click here.

From their website:

Baking and Brushes is a creative Baking and Art studio, offering classes, camps and parties, for children and teens.
Baking and Brushes is a one of kind studio, founded by the owners of “Tal’s Patisserie” and “Pinot’s Palette”, with the goal of providing a safe and creative environment in which kids and teens can relax, learn baking and art skills and express their creativity.

The studio offers-
Birthday parties
Holiday events
Classes and camps
Parent and me classes and parties
Girl scouts activities
Homeschooling programs

Things to Do

GamedayVR Virtual Reality Arcade Opens in Downtown Walnut Creek

1373 Locust St, Walnut Creek

The virtual reality arcade GamedayVR opened in downtown Walnut Creek over the weekend. I had a chance to try some of the “experiences” out (10 minutes for $10) and it was crazy cool! They have off the shelf HTC Vive VR headsets where you can choose from several “experiences” such as Space Pirate Trainer, Tilt Brush, Raw Data, Job Simulator and more, including their own in-house made Derek Carr football VR game. Check out the full list and book online on their website here.

Although 10 minutes may seem short it can get pretty intense. I observed one guy who finished playing and was actually sweating. Literally sweating! While waiting it’s also possible to try out the Oculus Rift or Playstation VR systems sitting down for free. Each VR space has a monitor to show others what the player is seeing inside the enclosed virtual space. An assistant helps put on the VR headset and provides a controller for each hand. In between uses each headset is disinfected. In a few weeks they also plan on introducing a more advanced StarVR system where one can actually throw a football!

If you’ve never tried VR out before I would definitely recommend checking this place out to see what it’s all about. I’ll be back for sure! They’re also opening in Emeryville soon and in San Mateo next spring.

More photos of the inside after the jump… Continue Reading

Things to Do

Bring on the Zamboni! Walnut Creek on Ice at Civic Park Nov 10th – Jan 15th

Walnut Creek on Ice at Civic Park is back for another winter season beginning November 10th through January 15th. Check out the various ice skating academy classes here. Pricing is either $12 or $15 depending on the day/time. There is no kid pricing but glider rentals are available for $5 per half hour. More details on their website here.

From the Facebook Ice Winter Festival event page:

November 11, Saturday at 11 AM – 1 PM Come celebrate the opening of Walnut Creek on Ice’s 13th season! Free admission/skates for the first 250 guests; $5 admission until 5pm. Entertainment includes skating performances, face painting, balloon artist & more!

Things to Do

Board & Brush Grand Opening Nov 2nd in Downtown Walnut Creek

1389 N. Main St, Walnut Creek

A grand opening party is going to be held at the DIY wood sign workshop studio Board & Brush in downtown Walnut Creek on November 2nd 5 – 9pm. Classes will start the following day. Check out their class schedule here. They just got their liquor license so will be serving alcohol. This will be downtown Walnut Creek’s second art and sip studio after Canvas and Cabernet.

From the event page:

Please come check us out at our GRAND OPENING PARTY!   We’ll have free appetizers & drinks, lots of giveaways, and a fun evening as we celebrate the Grand Opening of Board & Brush Walnut Creek! We are a creative studio that will be offering workshops for you to make your very own customized signs and wooden projects! You will get the first chance to browse our studio and view many of the projects you can choose to create… Invite your friends and family and swing by our NEW Board & Brush Creative Studio! We can’t wait to see everyone there! 

The first 50 guests will receive a gift of Board and Brush swag, and EVERYONE will receive a $10 off coupon for your first workshop!

15 raffle prizes, all with free tickets to enter:

5 Gift Bags will include a 25% Off Coupon and a B&b T-shirt — $30 value!
5 Gift Bags will include a 25% Off Coupon and a B&b hat — $50 value!
5 Gift Bags will vouchers for a FREE workshop — $65 value!

To be entered in the drawings, join us at the Grand Opening and take a picture by our favorite sign in the studio, post it on Facebook and Tag our Board & Brush Walnut Creek page in your photo!