Castro Theater Dark 8-Nights in August
[Greetings, visitors from SFist and SF Curbed! Please be sure to read my post about the latest developments in reclaiming the rainbow flag and pole at the city-owned Harvey Milk Plaza for the public. Thanks for stopping by. -michael]
Back in the spring, I blogged about how the iconic Castro movie palace would be closed for eight-nights in April and expressed my concern for the viability of the theater, given the larger context of San Francisco losing or about to lose other theaters. Since then, there's been good and bad news on this front.
First, the good news. The Landmark-operated Clay theater, which the landlord wanted to shutter, has a new lease on life and continues to show films. Sources have told me the landlord and art house chain came to an agreement over the lease, and there is no more talk about closing the Clay.
Another positive development was the San Francisco International Film Festival signing a contract with the New People Cinema in Japantown, taking over the under-used venue. Starting on September 2, the SFIFF will be offering daily programming there and they recently announced the inaugural film will be Jean-Luc Godard's latest work "Film Socialisme", sure to ignite a few debates about the French master director.
The bad news is that the Red Vic up in the Haight has gone out of business. "Harold and Maude" was the last movie to play there, a perennial favorite. We also received the news that the twin-screen Balboa theater is closing its doors at the end of summer. It's the same sad old story. Not enough folks getting out of the house and catching a movie at their local theater.
In the not-so-good-news category, there's a sad sequel this month at the Castro theater. Just as in April, the Castro will be closed every Monday and Tuesday night during August for a total of eight evenings when there will be one less reason to visit the neighborhood.
When was the last time you saw a flick there? I caught three films at the Castro in July, I'm happy to say. I attended the silent and Jewish film festivals, and was pleased that at all three films the house was packed with people in both the orchestra and balcony.
Speaking of July at the Castro, did you know it was closed five-nights last month? See the calendar below. That's certainly a smaller number of dark evenings than in April and August, but I'm still greatly concerned that the audience for the theater is diminishing.
Please forget about Netflix once in a while and take in a movie at the Castro and all our other still-operating movie palaces.