Like so many businesses, theaters have been hit hard since the beginning of the pandemic, and Oakland's New Parkway Theater was no exception. But while their screens are still dark, what the eight-year-old theater did have was a loyal following--and as they soon found out, that proved to be their saving grace.

Two weeks after the state shutdown, The New Parkway pivoted to a pickup and delivery food program. And the results have been surprising: while selling food hasn’t come close to replacing revenue lost from showing films, the business is surviving and moving forward.

“It’s fair to say it was an instant hit,” says Carlos Courtade of New Parkway, who sees the theater ...

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