The Reel Less Traveled – June 2020


Finding the Light

    Socialistically speaking, not much has changed since last month. Theaters are still closed but my offer stands: I will still be happy to make recommendations for films you can either rent, buy or stream.
    As far as other options, the International Film Showcase ( is continuing its virtual screening program which includes the finest in foreign films via streaming. Check out their website for the schedule.
    Meanwhile, at the Orinda Theatre there is the ever-present struggle to maintain the 78-year-old landmark and keep it running, and it has never been as important as it is now.
    Closed since March 16, the theater has been selling wine, popcorn and Red Vines licorice on Fridays to generate funds, according to owner Derek Zemrak. But that was not nearly enough to cover the fixed operating costs, which Zemrak says are $15,000 a month.
    On April 28, Zemrak started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $10,000. He met the goal in less than four days, with money still coming in. To learn more, go to
    The clouds will eventually part and the neon will burn brightly once again – and when that happens, you’ll be able to say that your donations played a significant part in it.
    For those who want a little more immediate return on their investment, there’s always Cine Cuvee. Like so many other restaurants or food delivery places, Cine Cuvee is jumping on the sidewalk pick-up bandwagon, offering a delightfully delicious package that includes a bottle of wine (and here you have a choice!), some of the best movie popcorn this side of the Caldecott Tunnel and a package of candy for $20.
    This offer is only available 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays so make sure you plan accordingly. Visit the Cine Cuvee facebook page for ordering details.
    And so we soldier on, brave and defiant against that which would prevent us from enjoying a vital art form that will continue to survive, grow and improve. Remember, regardless of how much cinema has changed technically, the one commonality has always been the light. And it is toward that light that we must always strive, for that is where the true magic lies.

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