Construction underway for Sacramento’s first pub theater

This story begins eight years ago when Tahoe Park resident Jackie Nadile traveled to Portland, Ore. and a visited one of the pub theaters run by McMenamins, a neighborhood gathering spot where movie and music lovers come together and enjoy handcraft beer, wine, spirits and coffee in a cozy atmosphere furnished with couches whilst they be entertained by live acts one day and new films on a big screen on another day.
The infatuation with Nadile’s experience there preoccupied her mind ever since. Fast forward eight years: She decided she is done working in the medical field, and that now is the time for her to recreate the McMenamins experience in her own neighborhood.
Located at 5440 14th Ave. near 55th St. sits the rundown Tahoe Food Market with windows covered with bars and a “For Lease” sign.
But inside, magic is happening.
Just about two weeks ago, Nadile got the keys to the place, and, with her husband Alan Lee, the two of them have filled in holes in the walls and have come up with a design plan, detailing where a 124-inch movie screen will showcase films, how a bar will be located in the back, separated with a wall from the main movie viewing area and where a stage will be built for live acts and elevated seating.
With contract applications for the showing of movies released by Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Weinstein’s and Universal and an application to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control submitted, Nadile is well on her way to her goal of opening what she has named – Public House Theater – by May or June.
The space has been empty for about three years and it’s “a work in progress”, Nadile said, as she took time out of her busy day, which has been spent like most others as of late, working to transform the space, to speak with this publication about her excitement regarding her new venture and the community’s backing of it.
“People are going to be pleasantly surprised. I’m hoping that (the pub theater) spruces up the neighborhood a little bit. My hope is to be open in a few months. Pretty ambitious, huh?” she chuckled as clearly a lot of work still needs to be done to the space.
Nadile said she received supportive emails from neighbors after she put out an informal poll on, the social networking site for neighborhoods, asking about movie preferences for opening night, which if deemed the movie of choice by herself and her husband, the winner gets free admission for the night. So far, The Big Lebowski, The Princess Bride, and Harold and Maude are in the running, she said, adding that unsolicited but welcomed support has been encouraging. “Someone wants to do my website; someone wants to market for me. I’ve gotten so many responses. People are just into it; it’s just fantastic,” she said.
Nadile said she will be showing movies from Blu-ray DVDs and will be using a high-definition projector as opposed to providing a digital format. “It’s not going to be digital, because that’s a whole other issue when you have to deal with the movie studios,” she said.
Whereas most movie theaters charge a lot for popcorn and soda pop to recoup the costs of proceeds lost from ticket sales to the movie companies, Nadile said she’s hoping to keep the prices down. With regular menu items such as sandwiches, paninis and pizza, Public House Theater will also offer specials from time-to-time from local restaurants.
Nadile has reached out to local brewers and restaurants, including: Track 7 (3747 West Pacific Ave.), Rancho Cordova-based American River Brewing Company (11151 Trade Center Dr.), Device Brewing Company (8166 14th Ave.), and Kansai Ramen & Sushi House (2992 65th St.,Ste. 288).
Reaching out to local businesses and supporting the economy has been a huge goal for Nadile. “We want to try to stay that way and boost our economy, not somebody else’s. That’s why I want people to experience all the amazing beers and micro brews we have here. They’re just up and coming and all over the place. And I want to support the local economy.”
And, fortunately, the local economy has what Nadile is looking for. “We’re going to have fresh ingredients, the best beer in the neighborhood and in the area, as well as, some of the best wines,” Nadile said.
Giving a tour of the inside of the old Tahoe Food Market, Nadile described the general layout of how the pub theater will look.
On the street-facing wall, she plans on draping dark curtains over the windows upon which she will drop down a 124-inch screen from the ceiling. Because the seating area is rather small, there has to be a certain amount of height from the floor, so people aren’t looking down, they are looking straight ahead. “I think a screen that’s 7- or 8-feet-wide is plenty big enough for this space,” she said.
On the back wall, there will be a stage for live performances or it will function as an additional seating area. And behind that wall, there’s a whole other room for the bar, which can be closed off for family friendly events like a children’s matinee day.
A friend to many local artists and musicians, Nadile will be encouraging them to utilize the Public House Theater. “We’re going to take a part of the wall and allow artists in the area to display their works and sell them if they want. I’m not sure what we will do to the walls, obviously we’ll paint them, but we’re not sure about the pictures. We do know we want to keep the pub cozy and inviting. I have a bunch of friends who are musicians and I thought they could use some promotion and they are very good, so I thought maybe once a month or once every two months we could do a live performance,” Nadile said.
Coming out of the medical field with no background in opening up a local business has required frequent visits to State offices. Regardless, everything has been working out. “Obviously, if I had some kind of background, it would be less stressful, less arduous. I’d know what to expect and how much things cost,” she said.
She said her only stress at this point is obtaining a license from the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control. “I don’t think there will be a problem getting it, but it will take awhile to start serving, but we’ll have a soft opening with soft drinks and coffee and things like that, which we will carry anyway.”

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