Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater pays tribute to the vaudeville

A century before videos streamed to your iPhone, one man’s job was to match picture with sound. At Grand Lake Theater that job still exists.

A century before you could stream videos on your iPhone, decades before you made your weekly trip to Blockbuster, and even years before moving pictures were seen in color, one person’s job was to bring you sound. At Grand Lake Theater that job still exists.

Before every 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekend screenings at Oakland’s Grand Lake Theater, Gordon Pratt pays tribute to the vaudeville–an act made obsolete by technological advancements in sound. While the ushers are still cleaning up spilled popcorn and the audience is beginning to file in, Pratt plays a few tunes on the pipe organ–a complex musical instrument, which has seen its best days fly by.

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