When Earl Thompson, owner of the West End Theatre in Quincy, approached me about possibly opening the Alley Cat Cafe in his lobby I was hesitant to say the least. The West End Theatre has been in various phases of construction for ten years. When we had our first conversation about it all, the building was framed and had a few electrical wires installed, other than that it was a shell.
Eleven months later, after many meetings, many points of compromise (mostly on Earl’s side) and many tears (mostly on my side) the Alley Cat Cafe opened it’s doors in the lobby of the, still under construction, West End Theatre.
Now, I am not what you would call a theatre buff, so when Earl put up the white columns out front I couldn’t understand why he would install these big things especially in a small town like Quincy. When I started looking into the history of theater I realized there is a similarity to a famous theater in London; the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. When I looked up West End Theater in Wikipedia I found this explanation:
West End theatre
is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London‘s ‘Theatreland’, the West End. Along with New York‘s Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London. So there you have it.
What does this all mean for Quincy, CA.? March 16th was the opening of the West End Theater in Quincy. It was a grand success. As people were enjoying their small plates and wine before the performance of Parallel Lives I looked out over the dinning room of the lobby and for the first time really understood Earl’s vision. It is the perfect marriage. A small intimate black box theatre that holds no more than 150 people and a beautiful cafe. During intermission guests enjoyed wine, beer, desserts and espresso drinks while they talked about the performance. Lovely.
This is just the beginning. The Theater/Cafe combination has potential that hasn’t begun to be tapped into. Think seminars, showing of documentaries, workshops, buisness retreats and summits. The state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems with the huge flat screen television could be used for a multitude of presentations. What a wonderful addition to our small mountain town.
Thanks for the vision Earl!
Serving high quality espresso, pastries and lunch in Plumas County, The Alley Cat Cafe and West End Theater are located at the corner of Highway 70 and Main Street in Quincy, Ca.