Learn about the golden era of movie houses in the East Bay -- the survivors and the cinema palaces that weren't so fortunate -- at a free program from 10 a.m. to noon June 15 at the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito.
The free program presented by the El Cerrito Historical Society and Friends of the Cerrito Theater will feature Jennifer Dowling Posedel, author of "Theatres of Oakland," and Gary Lee Parks, author of "Theatres of San Jose" and co-author of "Theatres of the San Francisco Peninsula."
Movie houses serving specific neighborhoods were once common, but their numbers are dwindling, with the vacant Oaks Theatre on Solano Avenue a recent example.
The El Cerrito movie theater itself is one of the unlikely survival stories, renovated and reopened in 2006 after being closed for some 40 years. The presentation "will be followed by a tour of the 75-year-old Cerrito Theater, with its original Heinsbergen murals, etched glass and more," say organizers.
GOODEN GOLF TOURNAMENT: It doesn't seem like that long ago that Drew Gooden was attending El Cerrito High School and starring in basketball for the Gauchos. Gooden, now a veteran forward playing his 11th season in the NBA, has made charitable work a priority.
Through his Drew Gooden Foundation he conducted a toy drive last Christmas for children in the Crescent Park neighborhood in Richmond (where he played as a youngster). He also has a golf tournament in his name that raises funds for his foundation and the Greater Bay Area Chapter of Make-A-Wish.
"It's important to be able to utilize your star power for the greater good," said Gooden, who names Make-A-Wish as one of his favorite causes.
The tournament will be on June 24 at Round Hill Country Club in Alamo. The event is open to the public and golfers can sign up to join the professional basketball, baseball, football figures and other VIPS who will be playing that day.
According to organizers, "prices are $500 to play on a foursome with a celebrity or $1,200 to form your own foursome without a celebrity."
The day includes a celebrity putting contest and registration also covers continental breakfast, lunch, beverages throughout the day, a post-tournament cocktail reception and a goody bag. Registration and tournament details are online at TheDrewGooden.com.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: Lt. Randy Files of the Berkeley Police Department is among the 2,500 riders who signed up to for this week's AIDS LifeCycle, a seven-day, 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Files, a BPD operations commander, has participated for 15 years in the event that raises funds for support programs and raises HIV/AIDS awareness.
"I have met so many astounding, wonderful people from all walks of life engaged in this fight against HIV/AIDS," he said. "It is truly an honor to stand amongst them."
The popular Cerrito Classic series is co-sponsored by Rialto Cinemas and the Friends of the Cerrito Theater and advance tickets are recommended.
Under a new system of determining fees, BART will monitor parking lot usage at stations in six-month intervals. "If the lot at a station is full, then the daily parking fee may increase by 50 cents," the agency says. "If the lot is less than 95 percent full, then the fee will decrease by 50 cents. The daily parking fee will not go above $3 at any station except West Oakland."
The policy applies to single day, monthly and airport/long-term reserved parking permits as well.