Oakland Museum of California is an architectural work of art and is filled with a variety of educational exhibits, both permanent and temporary, that chronicles many aspects of California history. The permanent displays include a gallery of California art, a simulated journey through California's diverse ecosystems, and exhibits on the history of the state's multicultural populations. Many people visit the museum just to stroll through its amazing sculpture garden. With artworks and historical heritage of the past, the museum wants to motivate visitors to create an equally brilliant cultural heritage for the future. This museum is a must-visit especially for those who love exploring historical developments peculiar to an area.
The Fox Theater in Oakland is a one-of-a-kind live entertainment venue that has been packing in cinema and music lovers since 1928. Originally a movie theater and theater, the venue switched to being primarily a cinema until 1966 when it finally closed its doors along with several other businesses in downtown Oakland. It was nearly demolished after it had been vacant for some time; however, the Fox Theater avoided demolition when it was declared an Oakland City Landmark. The venue reopened in February 2009 as a concert hall and music venue; it has a complete re-imagined decor with giant golden Buddhas and Middle Eastern architecture. The venue is general admission (standing room) on the ground level and stadium seating on the upper levels.
This grand old movie house, located just a block from Oakland's Lake Merritt, has four screens for your viewing pleasure. Before select Friday and Saturday evening shows, guests are treated to the bombastic sounds of the theater's famous "Mighty Wurlitzer Organ." For a most enjoyable experience, sit back and relax with popcorn and a soda from the refreshment stand. Make sure to check the marquee for some of the owners now famous political commentary on the issues of the day.
The Paramount Theatre is the home of the Oakland Ballet and the Oakland East Bay Symphony. It is the area's foremost facility for performing arts and is known for its grand music concerts, variety shows and movies. Constructed in the post-Depression period of 1931, the Paramount Theatre is best remembered for fusing various disciplines of arts together into a harmonious whole. The Paramount frequently screens old movie classics complete with intermission with bar service.
The African American Museum and Library was built in 1900. This museum host several exhibitions that showcase the culture and history of African-American people across Northern California and the Bay Area. The well-preserved collection features artifacts, photographs and memorabilia, as well as digital media for research purposes.
Cafe Van Kleef is located right in the heart of Oakland's Uptown neighborhood. The theme of Van Kleef is unconventional and all about the quirky artwork everywhere. The specialty at Van Kleef's is their Greyhound - a drink of vodka with grapefruit juice, which you can watch them squeezing fresh at almost any given point during the night. On most nights in the week, the bar plays live jazz music. Certain nights come with a cover charge so be sure to check details before you head here.
Located in the middle of Downtown Theater District is a multifaceted entertainment hub. Spanning across 24,000 square feet (2229.67 square meters) Venue Oakland features three floors with four unique spaces that has made it a popular destination. 510 Spokes is for all the cycling enthusiasts with parking and repair facilities while Blend is a juice bar. Vinyl is a funky restaurant and lounge, and Grand-Live is used for live music, fashion shows, comedy nights and media films. No matter whichever venue you choose to go, you will find this place always buzzing with something or the other.
Downtown Oakland's Joyce Gordon Gallery presents a riveting display of some of the most celebrated fine art works by regional as well as global artists. Housed in the magnificent Art Community Building, its exhibits portray the cultural potpourri of Bay Area and surrounding neighborhoods. The gallery provides a thriving platform to emerging artists and helps them to introduce their works to a larger art-loving audience. The on-site gift shop stacks an interesting selection of locally produced prints, crafts and other artifacts.
Pro Arts is a popular gallery in Downtown Oakland dedicated to promoting regional contemporary art and artists. In addition to regular curated exhibitions, Pro Arts hosts all kinds of other events like open studios and art education. The gallery hosts 22 different exhibitions every year and gives a space and opportunity for showing to hundreds of artists.
Awaken Cafe dons multiple hats as a performing arts venue, coffeehouse, beer and wine bar, gourmet snack joint and art gallery. There is always something going on here, whether it is a music and dance show or a fun karaoke session. Grab a fruit juice and listen to symphony orchestra, enjoy gourmet coffee with banana bread, marvel at contemporary art, watch live sports on television, listen to indie and pop beats at the concerts or participate in poetry slam. Mood lighting, WiFi access and happy hours only serve to accentuate the overall experience. Gastronomes will delight in the award-winning ice creams and espressos, organic food selection and Californian craft beer.