Monday, September 24, 2012

Video: Castro Theatre Manager
Hits Cameraman at Nudist Display

Someone should remind the current manager of our beloved movie palace about a little thing called the First Amendment.

I watched this video, which does not contain nudity and all male genitalia are obscured, and found the most shocking part was the manager ranting about supposedly needing a permit to film in front of the theatre. That's before he hits the cameraman with a clipboard. Huh? Is he about to insist all tourists visiting the Castro neighborhood get his permission before shooting videos?

At this point, with more anti-nudist hysteria stirred up by Supervisor Scott Wiener who is considering a law banning public nudity here, and knowing the nudist controversy has existed for his entire flaccid tenure on the Board of Supervisors, I say it's time for him to organize a town hall meeting to discuss this issue.

Like so many San Francisco politicians - Nancy Pelosi, Mark Leno, Tom Ammiano, David Campos, Bevan Dufty, et al - the Castro's supervisor is not known for holding regular town halls, or public forums when controversies erupt. Can you tell me when was the last time our Congressmember, State Senator and Assemblymember, Supervisors and Homeless Czar held a town hall meeting? The sound of crickets chirping fills the empty meeting halls.

Here's part of videographer Mike Skiff's written report about the bad behavior of the Castro manager:

The debate over public nudity heated up in San Francisco on Friday, September 21. Several nudists, including former SF mayoral celebrating Park(ing) Day by turning a parking space into the Garden of Eden beneath the iconic Castro Theater marquee. The Castro's livid general manager, Keith Arnold, interrupted interviews by repeatedly striking a news cameraman with a clip board (at the 2:25 mark) and forcing the law-biding nudists to move one store front down Castro street.

The Reel Gay news cameraman Mike Skiff (who is also a documentary filmmaker covering events during Leather Pride Week is SF) filed a criminal complaint with the SFPD against the theater manager. Irony abounds as the operator of a movie house, long known in the SF gay community for screening boundary-pushing indie artistic expression, acts intolerantly against a group of nudists who have creating a mini urban art space, and then assault a working member of the gay press covering the news story in broad daylight on the public street beneath his marquee.

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