Host a Benefit Event

One way we try to show our investment in the community is by donating free theater space to community groups, non-profits, and independent artists each week. These time slots are in high demand, and there’s a lot of important information you’ll need to know before applying, so please carefully read the following information before doing so.

Our benefits are held nearly always on Sundays from 12:30-2:30pm.  You may not extend or change the time slot.  If you’re looking to do anything longer or at a different time, you may do so via our rental department.  Slots tend to fill up at least two months in advance, though there are exceptions, so please plan months in advance, not weeks.

While the space is free (assuming you have a minimum of 50 attendees), we require a refundable $250 security deposit, a certificate of event liability insurance (we recommend calling Ruth or Angila with Farmers Insurance at 510-874-5700), and unless you are showing a film you own or already have the rights to show, a $400 partially refundable deposit for licensing costs (more details on licensing costs in the Programming section).

Whatever you choose to screen must be no longer than 105 minutes to leave up to ten minutes for our pre-show reel and a couple minutes of cushion for your guests to be out of the theater by 2:30. If you have original content or otherwise already have the rights to screen content, we’ll need a letter from the rights-holder stating you have the right to screen the film at the New Parkway with the date of your event listed. If you would like to screen more than one piece of content, please note there is a $25 additional content start fee.

If you would like to screen a film you don’t have the rights to, we’ll ask you to send us 2-3 titles you’re interested in and work to secure the rights to one of them. Most film distributors charge a fee of $150 to $400, often dependent on the number of paying attendees.  That’s where the $400 licensing deposit comes in.

You’re entirely in charge of ticketing, and you keep 100% of ticket sales (assuming there are no unpaid licensing costs). Send us your advance tickets link to have it included on our website and in our newsletter. Also be prepared to sell tickets the day of the event — we’ll have a table set up for you in the lobby, and you should have your Will Call list (for tickets purchased online), a roll of tickets to give to attendees so they have something to show our ticket taker, and ideally, change to give patrons purchasing day-of tickets.

Theater One’s capacity is 155 and Theater Two’s capacity is 130. You are not able to choose which theater you’re in, but if your sales near 125, let us know, and we’ll do our best to place you in the bigger theater to accommodate more ticket sales.  We also have a 50 person minimum attendance requirement. If your event has fewer than 50 people in attendance, we subtract $5 for each person less than 50 from your security deposit.

Have Questions?  Ready to Apply?
All communication around benefits should be by email and should be addressed to  If you’ve not heard back within a week, please email us again as we’re juggling lots of things.  We look forward to working with you!

Please note that your event is not confirmed until we’ve received and deposited your payment check AND we’ve received and countersigned the contract for your benefit event date.  Please do NOT promote your event until that time as we reserve the right to cancel or change the event up until that time.