Castro Theatre

429 Castro Street,
San Francisco, CA 94114

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Showing 26 - 50 of 132 comments

kencmcintyre on April 17, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Here is the ticket booth taken in 2009:

davepring on March 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Thats a great photo from the 40s…the Castro is my favourite theatre on the West Coast…but its a long way from Brighton U.K :)

kencmcintyre on March 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm

This is a larger version of the photo at the top of the page:

CSWalczak on July 23, 2009 at 5:43 am

It was nice to see on the Castro website that they have returned somewhat to the kind of programming that was typical of the 1980s; the screens even look like their brochures of that period.

jackeboy on July 10, 2009 at 12:35 am

I went to the Castro this week to see a double feature of Goodbye Mr.Chips, and Wuthering Heights. About halfway through Wuthering Heights, some people in the audience began laughing at the film in a mocking way.While waiting for the second feature, I formulated the following theory. At some point the people who were laughing had made an emotional connection with the film, but regarded themselves as too tragically hip to have that happen. So as a defense mechanism they mock.This happens fairly often at the Castro. It is especially bad during the annual Film Noir festival. You almost feel people are going to the movies to make fun of them. Comments anyone?

MPol on March 12, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Same here, Justin, although I’d admittedly love to see the inside of the Castro Theatre some day.

moviebuff82 on March 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm

I saw the theater while watching the movie “Milk”. Very classy theater, even though I haven’t been inside it.

MPol on February 24, 2009 at 1:32 am

I love it!! Thanks, Lost Memory.

MPol on February 20, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Aha! Okay. Thanks for the info.

MPol on February 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Thanks, Lost Memory. It looks like the Castro Theatre was just cleaned and renovated? Was it?

My nostalgia burns brightly.

MPol on February 20, 2009 at 1:10 am

If the Castro Theatre wasn’t on the opposite side of the country for me, I’D go, also!

MPol on February 19, 2009 at 3:39 am

Petula Clark performing at the Castro Theatre? Oooh…how exciting! I remember Petula Clark. I was a big fan of hers in the mid to late 1960’s, when I was a teenager, and when Petula Clark was in vogue and popular.

MPol on January 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Yeah……love that great-looking marquee. Thanks for the photo, Lost Memory.

MPol on December 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm

What a spectacular-looking theatre, both inside and out!! Too bad about the occasional problems with the film, etc. and the lighting. Is there a way to fix it? Just curious. I don’t reside in S. F., or anywhere on the West Coast, but if was a S. F. resident, or West Coast resident, I’d be all ears, if one gets the drift.

davidkaye on December 4, 2008 at 12:06 pm

MARQUEE: My dim memory has the current Castro marquee (repainted for the Milk movie filming) to be a close approximation to what the marquee had in the 1970s. The marquee and the whole exterior were painted in various shades of beige for some unknown reason in the 1990s. It was so bad the name was barely visible during the daytime. Also, the neon appears to have been redone, spruced up, and animated (it now flashes) for the Milk movie filming.

CEILING: I remember the Castro both pre and post 1989 quake, and the thing I remember most about the “restoration” was that the ceiling looked like it had just a coat of shellac on it. Of course, given the time frame and expense it would have been impossible to re-paint the ornate ceiling image to restore it to what it originally was. Before the quake the ceiling had lost a lot of plaster, so much that it looked speckled white. It would have been a 6-month project just to repaint the ceiling imagery. I assume that the shellac was an easy way to cover over the white and leave as much of the rest of the image as they could do under the circumstances.

SEATING: My only argument with the current Castro experience is the wooden cup rings between the seats. Better that they could have been attached to the seat in front rather than between where it’s too easy to bump a cup with your elbow.

stevenj on December 2, 2008 at 3:12 am

An AP story in today’s SF Chronicle says the Castro set a box office record for the opening 3 days of Milk. The film grossed $109,440 Nov 26-28 beating the previous 3 day record of $50,584 set in May for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

jackeboy on October 30, 2008 at 4:08 am

Wow. I have never met an author who doesn’t care if he sells any books.It was the whole linking to the ad for your book thing that threw me off. I am sorry if I offended you, and I look forward to your postings on Cinema Treasures.

JackFritscher on October 30, 2008 at 3:07 am

Jack Fritscher: My book “Gay San Francisco” featuring the Castro Theater as an icon on its cover is, yes, a trade paperback, but it is also the first GLBT book to be published simultaneously in a series of “free and green pdfs” at www JackFritscher com.

Now, in my eighth decade, I could care less if I sell a book; in fact, I am giving away free access to the entire text of “Gay San Francisco” to everyone at my site.

As a senior citizen who is an eyewitness to gay film history, my intent at this Cinema Treasures site is to join the online community and enhance Cinema Treasures' lore and history about the magic symbolism of theater marquees.

jackeboy on October 6, 2008 at 4:45 am

Mr Fritscher… Are you planning on doing something nice for the people who run this sight? The reason I ask is that you seem to be using them to try and sell your book under the pretext of posting a picture of the Castro.

JackFritscher on October 6, 2008 at 4:08 am

For a great photo of the Castro Theater shot in the 1990s, see the cover of the new book “Gay San Francisco” at Author Fritscher met his lover, and now legal spouse, under the marquee of the Castro Theater on May 22, 1978, the first night after the White Night Riot and the first birthday for Harvey Milk after his assassination by Dan White. Fritscher and spouse Hemry are specialists in reporting the untold Tales of the City in their 2008 book “Gay San Francisco.”

jackeboy on September 13, 2008 at 11:24 pm

They were both 35mm prints.

Giles on September 8, 2008 at 2:58 pm

out of curiosity were the restored prints of Godfather I and II, 35mm or DLP?

jackeboy on September 7, 2008 at 5:02 am

I went to the Castro twice this week. On Tuesday there was a 70mm showing of West Side Story. Towards the end of the movie, at a peak emotional moment, the film stops. It seems that one of the projectors had stripped a gear. With only one usable projector, they continued the showing, making reel changes on the one projector. A valiant effort by the Castro staff, but the wait between reel changes kind of ruined the showing for me. The manager was kind enough to give me a readmit ticket, which I used last night to see the restored prints of Godfathers 1 and 2. About 30 minutes into Godfather 2, there was a 4.0 earthquake. I have seen a bunch of strange things happen at this theatre. Like the double feature of 2 William Wellman films. Heroes For Sale was great, but they could not open the curtain,for the second feature, and had to cancel the showing of Wild Boys Of The Road. Or the showing of Vertigo where the sound went out halfway through the film. Or when I went to see Journey To The Center of the Earth and they could not get the masking adjusted for the film and had to cancel that showing. The Castro is a theatre with it’s own personality, and sometimes that personality can be a little cranky.