Castro Theatre

429 Castro Street,
San Francisco, CA 94114

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Showing 101 - 125 of 150 comments

August
August on May 7, 2006 at 2:57 am

The Castro Theatre is magnificent, and as a SF native, I have gone there many, many times over the years. I will say that current Events Promoter/Producer Bill Longen obsesses over the prints they get, but sometimes distributors send garbage, and it’s too late. I was the programmer for both GODZILLAFEST and SHOCK IT TO ME! at the Castro Theatre, and while I worked with Anita on the former, both of them were easy to work with and very cool. We came to Anita with three days of Godzilla films, and she expanded it to five, then seven — even I thought that was crazy, but it worked and the show was a resounding success.

For SHOCK IT TO ME!, Bill was not only adamant about getting the best prints possible, as he is with everything they book for the theater, but also the best film selection possible. Sony’s print of THE COMEDY OF TERRORS was fading (it’s was all that was available), but the prints of HOUSE OF USHER and DR. PHIBES were STUNNING, as were the prints of VAMPIRE LOVERS, REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, CURSE OF THE DEMON and THE HAUNTING. You can’t expect perfection in 40 year-old Horror Films that the distributors hardly care about, but we got close.

Working together with us, Bill brought some great ideas to the table, and felt as though we were one big family. As a result, SHOCK IT TO ME! also was a success, and it was an absolute pleasure (and a privilege) to work with the staff and management of this great movie palace. I am looking forward to continuing for as long as they’ll have us.

Since he came aboard at the Castro, Bill has booked in some crazy stuff (and let us run amok, too) — was anyone there in the PACKED house for the colorized PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE screening recently? Yes, an Ed Wood film packed the 850-seat floor. Simply amazing what a little solid PR can do for an awful film. LOL. Believe me, it was a night that was hilarious and just felt damned good. I’d rather see programming like this, than anything in French — just kidding.

But, fear not (or maybe you should), there’s more cool programming in the pipeline (Bill is plotting and planning), and we are booking films (and guests) for the triumphant return of SHOCK IT TO ME! for the 2006 Halloween Season. Thanks for all those who attended last year, and those who left kind comments on this page. This year’s show will be bigger (two weekends) and twice as ugly! Thanks again and stay tuned…

¡Viva Castro Theatre!

RobertR
RobertR on March 29, 2006 at 8:39 pm

This is the organist at the Castro. This might have been filmed on someones cell phone :)
View link

frankie
frankie on March 20, 2006 at 12:42 pm

I’m so happy to say that I, too, was lucky enough to have a Castro experience all the way from Brooklyn ! I was visiting my sister in the ‘80s, and had never seen “Gilda” with Rita Hayworth, believe it or not. I got to see it, complete with organ serenade, and was happily dazzled !

wago70
wago70 on March 8, 2006 at 5:55 pm

I must say the Castro has given me the most AWESOME movie-going experiences in this city. Especially this past year! I heard of the programming upset behind the scenes some time ago, but to be honest, I go now more than ever before. I went to almost every film at the GODZILLA FEST. I basically set up house at the Castro even though I live nearby. Such a wonderful, fun experience. I enjoyed the 3-D fest and tried to go every night. The horror fest last year was GREAT as was their Halloween programming!!!!!! Whenever they play Hitchcock – I’m there. Recently they played some fun films like Xanadu and Skatetown USA. Very fun.
More upper-crust foreign fare and such were probably favored before, but I never went to see them (except for the Fellini films…I’m now a fan of his work). The programming now is really fun. I’ll take a Joan Crawford double feature or Vincent Price fest ANY DAY over the usual arthouse programming.
I LOVE THE CASTRO THEATRE!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 22, 2006 at 10:02 pm

Queer queues at the Castro:
View link

cswa913102
cswa913102 on October 25, 2005 at 5:02 am

I went to just about every Saturday matinee at the Castro from about 1959-1962 or early ‘63. Why the heck not? It was only 20 cents to get in, and another 20 cents for popcorn AND soda. It was usually a double feature with a cartoon. At that time, it was a little run-down, but still impressive. I remember seeing “The Phantom of The Opera” ('62 version, Herbert Lom in maybe his only starring role?) and being a little nervous about that big chandelier.

tjmayerinsf
tjmayerinsf on October 9, 2005 at 1:15 pm

If you haven’t already, go to the Castro Theatre website
http://www.thecastrotheatre.com
and click on the History section which has a few old and new photos.

Vito
Vito on October 9, 2005 at 12:59 pm

Thanks Tom! What a gem, sure wish we had more like that in NY

tjmayerinsf
tjmayerinsf on October 9, 2005 at 10:20 am

Historic photos can be found at
View link
Click on Digitized Images by Subject, scroll down to Theaters, click on letter C, where there are about 8 historic photos. Not sure if there is an easy way to find current interior photos unless you want to email Bill Longen the programmer at BLCastroTheatre (at) aol.com

Vito
Vito on October 9, 2005 at 10:04 am

Are there any interior photos to be found?

tjmayerinsf
tjmayerinsf on September 9, 2005 at 6:37 am

All of these comments (above) should also be directed to Bill Longen, the new programmer at BLCastroTheatre (at) aol.com . . go to www.thecastrotheatre.com and click on Contact Us.

stefoscope
stefoscope on September 9, 2005 at 2:18 am

I would like to add to jackeboy’s comments: I too have noticed the quality of the prints going downhill. I have attended several screenings at the Castro within the last few months, and with each of them was something disappointing about the print and/or presentation. Namely, the 70mm festival. I saw “Tommy” there, which was not only totally faded, and worn, but just a useless, cropped print. It didn’t make any sense for the Castro to show this print, when there are FAR superior 35mm prints out there. I also saw the restored “Vertigo” as part of the festival, and having seen it at the Castro before in 70mm, this print was poorly presented with intermittent focus throughout. They also ran a poor quality, worn old print of “Psycho” earlier last month, which was the worst print I had ever seen of this film. I KNOW there are better prints out there currently. There definitely seems to be a lapse in print quality there, and though I am anticipating the 3-D festival, I am already skeptical. Does the Castro even have a silver screen for this?!

stefoscope
stefoscope on September 9, 2005 at 2:16 am

I would like to add to jackeboy’s comments: I too have noticed the quality of the prints going downhill. I have attended several screenings at the Castro within the last few months, and with each og them was something disappointing about the print and/or presentation. Namely, the 70mm festival. I saw “Tommy” there, which was not only totally faded, and worn, but just a useless, cropped print. It didn’t make any sense for the Castro to show this print, when there are FAR superior 35mm prints out there. I also saw the restored “Vertigo” as far of the festival, and having seen it at the Castro before in 70mm, this print was poorly presented with intermittent focus throughout. They also ran a poor quality, worn old print of “Psycho” earlier last month, which was the worst print I had ever seen of this film. I KNOW there are better prints out there currently. There definitely seems to be a lapse in print quality there, and though I am anticipating the 3-D festival, and am already skeptical. Does the Castro even have a silver screen for this?!

jackeboy
jackeboy on September 9, 2005 at 1:15 am

Speaking of Anita, there is one big difference that I have noticed. Since she is no longer the programmer the quality of the prints has gone way down. A few weeks ago I saw Dragonslayer there and the print was awful. This week I saw Ice Station Zebra, and it may have been the worst quality print I have seen at the Catro in the 20 years I have been going there.This is a film that shows often on TV in an excellent print, so I know there are better available prints then the one the Castro showed this week. Anita’s connections used to assure us the best print available. I guess the new programmer does not have these kind of connections

claudew
claudew on September 3, 2005 at 3:04 am

If anything there have been more gay movies at the Castro since Anita’s firing. Admittedly my tastes are a little more mainstream, but I find myself going to the Castro more since she’s been gone.

Unfortunately Landmark tends to get the best gay independent films and they usually put them at the Lumiere on Polk St. There would have much bigger and livelier audiences if they played the Castro.

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on August 31, 2005 at 12:59 pm

A piano is far preferable to some of the bad instrumental accompaniments I’ve heard which seem designed to totally destroy the mood of so many silent films. Especially when you see silents on DVD or TCM. The soundtracks are guaranteed to be abysmal making the films unwatchable.
I wish we had a place like the Castro in New York.

Kiddman
Kiddman on July 24, 2005 at 1:32 am

They used a PIANO when they have a magificent THEATRE ORGAN (one of the finest, I might add) right there? What the heck are they THINKING???

jackeboy
jackeboy on July 23, 2005 at 10:14 pm

Thank you Gerald, so much for the I before e rule huh?

jackeboy
jackeboy on July 23, 2005 at 10:14 pm

Thank you Gerald, so much for the I before e rule huh?

jackeboy
jackeboy on July 23, 2005 at 2:06 am

Last week I had the opportunity to see Valentino in THE SHIEK at the Castro with a pianist providing a live score. What a great night at the movies. Even the hipper then thou crowd was captivated by the experience. After a few initial giggles at the unfamiliar acting style, the audience beacame drawn into the story and the experience. Coming up at at the Castro is a week of Harold Lloyd. The Shiek was preceded by Wings, and the Silent Film Festival. Though there may not be enough Silents for everyone’s taste [including mine] the art of the Silent Film is alive at the Castro.

Coate
Coate on July 23, 2005 at 1:15 am

The Castro is hosting a 70mm festival August 1-11.

Aug. 1 … Vertigo
Aug. 2 … 2001: A Space Odyssey
Aug. 3 … Lawrence Of Arabia
Aug. 4 … The Bridge On The River Kwai
Aug. 5 … Apocalypse Now
Aug. 6 … The Road Warrior
Aug. 7 … Ghostbusters
Aug. 8 … Dragonslayer
Aug. 9 … Tommy
Aug. 10 … Edward Scissorhands
Aug. 11 … Hello, Dolly!

moviesmovies
moviesmovies on July 19, 2005 at 11:42 am

Saw Portuguese films here during a film fest.