Former teen club's patrons hosting reunion, fundraiser

Former teen club's patrons hosting reunion, fundraiser

Michele Ellson

The late Melissa Ring (right) and a friend at The Twilight Zone. Photos courtesy of Darren Brown.

The Alameda Theatre has had many lives over its 81-year tenancy in the heart of the Island. One of them – a former dance club where Alameda’s young punks and goths once gathered – is being celebrated Saturday at the Pacific Pinball Museum.

The museum is hosting a reunion for patrons of the club, The Twilight Zone, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission for the all-ages event is $15, and proceeds from the event will be used to fight Ewing’s sarcoma.

In addition to music, dancing – and pinball, the event will feature photos, video and other memorabilia collected by the late club-goer Melissa Ring, who chronicled the club’s existence in the 1980s and 1990s. Ring succumbed to Ewing’s, a rare bone cancer, in 2012.

An album of Ring’s photos assembled by friends and family is online and available for purchase. Patches memorializing Ring will also be on sale.

From 1986 to 1993, the club – founded by a local couple with six children who wanted a safe haven for teens – served as a refuge for the Island’s disparate collection of teen punks, goths and death rockers and for youths from across the East Bay. Between 9 a.m. and 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday, they could gossip, listen to spun and live music – and dance.

Darren Brown, a friend of Ring’s who helped assembly the photo album, said the Zone united youths across Alameda despite a deep rivalry between students at its two high schools. He said the punk and goth club later expanded its horizons to include a hip hop night, which once featured a young Too $hort.

Hundreds of the club’s onetime patrons are members of a pair of Facebook pages memorializing it, where they share stories, old photos – and concert dates for Depeche Mode, Alison Moyet and other new wave artists they loved.

A selection of Ring’s photos, courtesy of Brown, are in this slideshow. The museum is at 1510 Webster Street.


Submitted by Shana Ring (not verified) on Fri, Dec 6, 2013

I miss you big you forever

Submitted by Charlie (not verified) on Sat, Dec 7, 2013

I hope this was a fun memorable day for all The Zone alumni. Wish I could have been there to help celebrate and remember all the great people who came through our doors, especially Melissa.

Submitted by Shannon ring (not verified) on Thu, Dec 26, 2013

We all miss you dearly Melissa. Give grandma a kiss for us.