Home NEWS Local Scene New Chapter For “The Rheem,” Theater Group Announces Sale Of Local Landmark

New Chapter For “The Rheem,” Theater Group Announces Sale Of Local Landmark


The on again/off again saga of Moraga’s most visible landmark entered yet another phase Friday as the group hoping to revive the peeling Neon Queen announced its sale.

This site had teased the coming deal and it appears to have been realized, with the Friends of the Rheem Theatre support group posting a terse announcement on their page.

Sources have informed this site that the current theatre owner had sold the landmark to David Corkill of Chino Promenade III INC – a Petaluma-based corporation which also owns and operates Concord Veranda LUXE Cinema and other movie properties.

Information about the terms of the deal, and the future of The Rheem, have yet to be brought into focus.


  1. Nice scoop on this one, JD!

    Probably good news…I imagine they’ve got capital to invest and hopefully it’ll enable the Rheem to get off its long cycle of life support.

    • Thanks, BoC – we’d like to thank the folks who reached out to us with info, assuming – rightly – that we’d have an interest in the transaction.

  2. The entire Rheem Theatre saga last year was a case of shady dealings. Trotter and Onoda brokered a private deal using town money and resources to persuade the theatre owner to sell at a below market rate to the these Friends of Rheem. In return, the empty lot next to the theatre was fast tracked to be rezoned as mixed use allowing the same owner to build a 4 story apartment building. It was a great transfer of wealth. It’s one of the reasons why Trotter is no longer serving on the TC. I hope the current TC and building commission now rezone the empty lot back to commercial. That episode was a great example of local council members acting in their own self interest.

  3. I hope they don’t destroy the murals. This is probably not the thing to say to a forum full of movie fans but we haven’t been there in years – which we realize probably contributed to its demise. We’ll see what the new owners are able to do with it.

  4. It would be an interesting story to follow the details of the money, people and transactions of this property over the last few years.

    • Maybe you should be more interested in what will happen with the property going forward, The people who have been operating the Theatre for the last nine years have given the community much more than what they will be getting from the new owners. I can also personally attest to the challenges the operators have taken on in trying to keep the theatre open long enough for the Moraga Community Foundation to purchase. They should be commended.

      Moraga will soon realize what they had and took for granted. As far as the Town Council goes they should have been more transparent but their interest was in preserving a historical Theatre for it’s community. I don’t see how their would have been any personal gain for the Town Council in this case. If I have missed something please enlighten me.

      • Pamela – how can you say with such confidence that the new owners won’t be as good or better than the prior owners? We have no idea at this point in time. Just maybe the new owners will renovate the dilapidated interior and upgrade the seats and technology. I think it’s safe to say the new owners have more capital than the prior operator (the prior operator couldn’t afford to purchase the theatre building, but the new operator was able to purchase the theatre). I’ve lived here for 10 years. Not too long of a time compared to some. I’ve been to the Rheem a lot but I don’t enjoy going except for the convenience. It’s dirty, old and some will say has character but I would say falling apart. I have to bring a blanket during the winter time. And the sound system hasn’t been updated to the latest and greatest. I think a new owner and operator could be a great upgrade.

  5. New owner/operator also owns this theater https://yelp.to/qTKq/jmjDnvUoTV

    Compare these reviews to the Rheem Theatre https://yelp.to/qTKq/iYZ4ht0oTV

    Or the Orinda Theater (same operator as the Rheem Theater) https://yelp.to/qTKq/nuylfs5oTV

    Once the new owners take over they will then be in direct competition with the Orinda Theatre. I see it as the beginning of the end for the Rheem Theatre and expect that in the next five years it will fail and be sold to a developer that will build housing on the site yet under these circumstances Moraga will no longer have a Theatre. Time will tell but I loved that people were trying to save the Theatre as a piece of history rather another boring six plex with no character.

  6. If The Rheem was part of your happy childhood, there will be fond memories. The shady dealings? I’ll leave that to the residents of Moraga, the town council, etc. The future? Only the shadow knows.

    As a former cheerleader in high school and college, I would like to thank the members of Save The Rheem for their hard work, dedication – and most of all… their spirit. GO TEAM RHEEM!

Leave a Reply