Oakland is one of the lesser known cities of the San Francisco Bay area. Although not so famous as its neighbours San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose, Oakland has in fact benefited somewhat from its relative anonymity by allowing it to develop a richly independent arts scene. The artistic community of Oakland is one of the most vibrant and creative of America and one of the central hubs of that artistic movement.TravelupTourists travelling around America will generally clatter from one mainstream tourist hotspot to another; the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge and so on and so forth. Stopping off to visit Oakland however will provide a traveller with a taste of a more vibrant America.

Due to hefty house prices around the rest of California, Oakland’s cheaper house prices attracted a large number of poorer artists just starting out on their careers. That new community of artists clubbed together and found a new sense of artistic freedom in the lesser known city of Oakland. Subsequently the city saw a number of art cafes and independent galleries open up that began to display some of the most cutting edge art of America today.

The Fox Oakland Theatre is one of the main venues of the Oakland arts scene. Built originally as a cinema in 1928, the magnificent Middle Eastern styled building began to fall into disrepair during the 80s and 90s when out-of-town multi-screen cinema complexes drove smaller theatres out of business. The Fox Oakland Theatre was bought by the local Oakland authority in 1996 but took until 2009 to be fully renovated for the community.

Today the Fox Oakland Theatre still plays a selection of films, but is also a central performance venue, community centre and home to the Oakland School of the Arts. The Fox Oakland Theatre now hosts a busy schedule of theatre, music gigs and constant installations of innovative new Oakland art. The venue’s new restaurant ‘The Den’ is one of the most vibrant and thrillingly artistic places to eat in the US.

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