Because Indian Rock’s Too Sandbagged: Touchstone Proposes a Bouldering Gym in North Berkeley

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Touchstone Climbing is excited to announce a proposed bouldering gym in the Oaks Theater building on Solano Avenue in North Berkeley, just down the hill from Indian and Mortar Rock. We love our East Bay community, and think that this could be an incredible opportunity to support both the growing population of climbers and the neighborhood as a whole.

The Oaks Theater has remained vacant for the past six years. As many of our members know, we love buildings with history and work to retain the character of the original spaces—Berkeley Ironworks, Great Western Power Company in Oakland, Sacramento Pipeworks, and, most relatedly, The Studio in San Jose, are great examples of this. The Oaks Theater project would be no exception, and we would make no changes to the exterior.

If built, the Oaks Theater would be converted into a bouldering gym with a full range of fitness options. It would be a complement to Berkeley Ironworks and provide the world-class bouldering terrain we know our members would love.

This project is contingent on receiving a use permit from the city, which means that we need the local community’s support. If the neighborhood doesn’t think Touchstone is the right fit for revitalizing the theater, then we will abandon the project. Should the community like the idea of a climbing gym on Solano Ave as much as we do, we would hope for a late 2018 or early 2019 opening.

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