Ivy Hill is turning the Old Parkway into the neighborhood weed shop – KALW

The Parkway Theater opened on the East Side of Lake Merritt in 1925, at the same time as other landmark theaters in Oakland.

“This was sort of like a lower-end art deco theater, not as grand as say the Paramount or the Grand Lake, they were all built by the same architecture group in the early 1920s,” says Hilary O’Brien, the manager of Ivy Hill Cannabis, located where the Parkway Theater once operated. “This was more like the working man’s theater.”

The beloved Old Parkway closed this location in 2009, and after it sat empty for a decade, Hilary’s former boss Bill Koziol proposed a new idea for it. He wanted to create a space where people could buy and use cannabis, where others used to watch movies and drink beer.

Ivy Hill Cannabis is currently located in what was once the Old Parkway’s lobby, where customers would purchase tickets before seeing films. The front counter was once the concession stand, and the back of the dispensary was where the walk-in freezer used to be.

Asia Howard, a bud-tender at the dispensary, explains the different kinds of cannabis to me. She talks about which samples would help me sleep or which would give me

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