Showing 26 - 50 of 389 comments
Thanks for the photo of The Left Bank—Looks like the Monica went to “adults only” films prior to its conversion into a Pussycat. (I am guessing that Vince Miranda did not own the theater at that point in time.)
From what I recall, it was still operating in the 1970s as a twin screener & Syufy theaters was operating it then. They showed a lot of AIP product in the late 1960s & early 1970s.
It was gone by the mid-1980s.
I recall driving through Huron & seeing this theater in the 1980s when it was still open. It was showing Spanish language films then.
I recall seeing a news story on Channel 7 about 3 years ago about a rat infestation at this theater & it caused patrons to flee during movie showings.
When this was operated by Brandt—was it Bingo Brandt, who ran a number of adult theaters in New York City’s Times Square area?
I do recall this particular place. The theaters themselves weren’t particularly distinguishable, however, they did do decent business, even after Fashion Island went into decline. (The center went into decline when Liberty House, who took over the Bullock’s site, went out of business. At the end, the mall only had 2 anchors, Whole Earth Access & Wards. In its final weeks, about 90% of the stores were vacant & the place was a ghost town.) The Tilt arcade next door was one of the more profitable arcades for that arcade chain. (A friend of mine was a manager at that arcade there in the mid-1980s).
“Movie Pests” is a great short—I know TCM has ran it before. I do not recall if it has made DVD yet (It was on laserdisc in a collection of MGM shorts that came out years ago.)
The neighborhood surrounding the theater is called the Bal neighborhood.
Excellent article appeared in this past Monday’s San Francisco Chronicle. The place is still open, was showing “Horton Hears A Who”. Basically run by one man, who acts as ticket seller, concession stand worker, & projectionist! Admission is $8 for adults.
The article did state that he did work things out with the city of Alameda & that the theater is making a profit.
I found a small amount of information from a 1995 meeting minutes of the Union City Historical Society. Theater was on 2nd Street between E & F Streets & was “owned by Bautista”.
The Golden Gate Penthouse in San Francisco was when the Golden Gate Theater was “twinned”—The Penthouse was originally the balcony area of that theater. (When 2001 first played the Golden Gate, it had already been twinned—thus it was just “moved upstairs”).
AEG Live (owned by Philip Anschultz, pardon my spelling) is taking over the venue after BGP departs.
Bill Graham Presents lost there lease to this theater & will have their final shows there in May with a 4 night set of Phil Lesh & Friends (Lesh was a member of The Grateful Dead). Saw ad in yesterday’s SF Chronicle Datebook section.
I think this could backfire on them—I usually rely upon the newspaper to find out what is playing at the theater. There’s a saying “Out of sight, out of mind.”
This sounds oligopolical to me. (The fact that DCIP is “wholly owned” by the 3 largest US theater chains.)
Looks like status should be changed to closed.
I believe this was the last (former Pussycat) adult theater in Northern CA. The Sunset in Hollywood was the last (former Pussycat) adult theater to close there. (It has been demolished since.)
Thanks for the clarification.
The adress looks familiar for some reason. Did Pussycat Theaters once operate here in the 1970s??
Interesting to find that the Mitchell Brothers were operating this theater at the end of its days as a porn house. Any idea as to when they took over from Pussycat Theaters? (I know that in the mid-1980s, Pussycat Theaters was in serious financial problems due to the decline of XXX theaters, the death of Vince Miranda, and legal squabbles as to who would own what was left of the operations.) The ads for Pussycat Theaters in the San Francisco Chronicle had this listed as one of their theaters & I do not recall this theater listed as a Mitchell Brothers theater. (The Mitchells did advertise in the Chronicle, as of 1985, their only Bay Area theaters advertised were the O'Farrell, which mostly did live shows then; the Ritz in Hayward which closed at the end of 1985, and the Bijou on Market Street in San Francisco. Their Berkeley operation was already changed over by another operator into a mainstream house.)
I could see the Mitchells attempting then to try to break into the market, although Pussycat & the Mitchells historically didn’t get along with one another. (As when the Mitchells bought the leases to several San Francisco theaters that had been operated by Walter Reade prior to that company’s bankrupcy—That was mostly done to keep Pussycat from expanding into a theater which was near their O'Farrell flagship.)
Can somebody confirm this—I have not seen advertising for this particular theater in the last several weeks. Has Cinemark shut it down. (For the last few months, it had been playing moveover fare from the Century 21-24 complex off Winchester.)
I read the SF Chronicle article—It was quite well written. My two cents as to why the revival house business has dried up in the San Francisco Bay Area:
DVDs &/or showings of films on TCM do have a lot to do with it. Why pay $8.50 (what the revival house charges) per person when you can see it for less? The showings that have done well (from my observation) are of the films that are not on video or DVD. Gary Meyer’s Paramount Pre-Code series did quite well as many of those films have not been released on video nor do they air on TCM. (I have traveled from the suburbs to see many of these films.)
One solution mentioned in the article is to use “digital projection” of movies (DVD??) & to maybe sell videos in the lobby. Quite frankly, I think that would kill whatever little life there is left. This is what the “porn houses” did in the early-mid 1980s and it signaled the end of the theatrical sex film business. As it has been argued many times before, showmanship is what makes the difference. The Castro has done this with various programs. I have been to various “cult film nights” at theaters like the Parkway in Oakland & the Cerrito Theater (El Cerrito), where they present a film along with some entertainment (usually a musical act) plus some “prize giveaways”. Some of their shows sell out.
Of course, there is always the PFA (Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley), which has some adventurous film programming (much of it is not on video).
Maybe it takes some “creative programming”, & perhaps “showmanship”.
If it was the North Beach Movie, that indeed was a storefront XXX house in the day.
One thing that you might want to think about is doing an earthquake retrofit of the building.
As far as possible uses, it sounds too small for a movie house. (Could this have been one of those “storefront” theaters that showed XXX fare back in the 1970s??) Small music venue or playhouse perhaps??
This theater opened originally in April 1970.
From www.reeldistraction.com, this was the programming for that theater on Dec 25, 1974 (they had a copy of the Oakland Tribune theater guide listing):
Ad also stated “Under 16 not admitted unless accompanied by an adult-Evening performances only”
Reportably, the shopping center which surrounds the theater is being redone & there are plans to replace this theater with a new CineArts. They would be better off keeping the dome (C21), demolishing the shoebox smaller theaters, & rebuild around that.