The Elmwood Theatre has a long history in Berkeley and was one of the first businesses to open in the Elmwood District. The building opened as the Strand in 1919 as a neighborhood theatre “catering to the family.” In 1947, after a six-year closure during World War II, it reopened as the Elmwood, “Berkeley’s show house for outstanding foreign films.” In June 2007 Rialto Cinemas took over operation of the theatre and returned it to its arthouse roots and chose a spirit line that communicated its historic roots, “Berkeley’s Best Neighborhood Movie Theatre.”

Rialto Cinemas offers corporate, nonprofit/local filmmaker, and private event rentals. The standard rental period is 2 hours. The rates for a 2-hour rental vary depending on the day of the week (available Sunday – Thursday), time of day, and space requested. All rentals are based on availability around Rialto Cinemas programming.

The Elmwood has 3 auditoriums: an ADA accessible auditorium downstairs with capacity of 1 76 and two non-ADA 49 seat upstairs auditoriums.  All auditoriums can provide Closed Caption, Assistive Listening, and Audio Description devices.  Rentals rates include staffing and basic tech needs.

Catering, concessions, ticketing, and additional tech support are available. Please let us know what you are looking for when you fill out the rental application form.

Please note rental approval is based on the sole judgement of management.

Ready to start the process of booking your event?

Fill out the form below, and we will get back to you in 3-5 business days.