Castro Theatre

429 Castro Street,
San Francisco, CA 94114

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Showing 101 - 125 of 135 comments

stefoscope on September 8, 2005 at 9:16 pm

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 on September 8, 2005 at 8:15 pm

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 on September 2, 2005 at 10:04 pm

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 on August 31, 2005 at 7:59 am

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 on July 23, 2005 at 8:32 pm

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 on July 23, 2005 at 5:14 pm

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

jackeboy on July 23, 2005 at 5:14 pm

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

jackeboy on July 22, 2005 at 9:06 pm

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 on July 22, 2005 at 8:15 pm

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 on July 19, 2005 at 6:42 am

Saw Portuguese films here during a film fest.

gsmurph on May 1, 2005 at 1:42 pm

I’m as downhearted about the Castro as most everyone else, but let’s not cut off our nose to spite our (or their) face(s). If someone were to move all the festivals and the former Castro programming elsewhere, the Strand would be a po-o-o-o-or substitute—-how about the New Mission, the Harding, or the former Cine Latino instead? No sense replacing an architectural diamond (which was a big part of the Castro’s appeal with many festivalgoers all these years) with a lump of coal a fraction of the diamond’s size. (Of course, that’s assuming such a thing could be carried out.)

Kiddman on May 1, 2005 at 12:21 pm

Just looked at the “coming attractions” at the Castro website. Blech!

Even when I lived in the Bay Area, I rarely went to the Castro for a movie. It was fairly far away from me, and “art” films rarely interest me. VERY occasionally, there’d be a silent movie or organ concert, and THOSE I went to!

The Wurlitzer is wonderful, one of the most beautiful-sounding anywhere. The acoustics in the Castro are TERRIFIC for the organ!

Because I happen to personally know the people involved with that theatre organ, I was lucky enough to be able to make a few early-morning visits for impromptu mini-concerts. Those were truly special experiences that I will never forget.

How come such a wonderful 20’s movie palace as this, equipped with one of the world’s finest theatre organs, so rarely shows silent movies? Even back when I still lived in the Bay Area, silents were almost never shown, averaging maybe twice a year or so.

On those rare occasions, they drew large audiences. My favorite haunt since I moved to Oregon, the Elsinore Theatre in Salem, hosts maybe 20 silent-movie programs a year and THEY tend to draw large audiences, too. I think there’s an audience for this form of movie entertainment, and it’s largely untapped.

I can understand that silents are sometimes hard to acquire, and you have to pay an organist, etc., but come ON! These movie palaces are DESIGNED for the “flickers”! Let’s use them for their intended purposes already! Occasional silents are a great addition to a movie palace’s schedule.

scotch on January 13, 2005 at 2:59 pm

Actually I would like to change my statement on the Roxie… though not quite as impressive as thier calendar days, they are still a significant addition of the SF film landscape.

RobertR on January 13, 2005 at 2:41 pm

Someone should reopen the Strand and bring back the former Castro programmer and move all the festivals there.

scotch on January 13, 2005 at 12:34 pm

For those interested there was a boycot of the musicals recently shown at the Castro (why so few people showed for Meet me in St. Louis maybe) but everyone is still encouraged to patronize the festivals that play there, such as the upcoming Berlin and Beyond. However customers who disagree with the current situation are encouraged to not patronize the snack bar, as those proceeds go only to the castro and not to the festivals that screen there.

The recent calendar is not awful in terms of selection, but by no means exciting, and whoever wrote the blurbs is not very educated about film, and clearly did it very quickly. They seem to be playing everything for camp and no substance. Its some of the worse film writing ive come across in a SF movie house calendar. I will be curious to see what the SF film festival does… granted they seem to be going in another, yet just as anoying direction from their past. Mel Nobikov (sp) is turning in his grave…

If the castro goes south, the san franciso film scene will be officially moot… The Roxie is a shadow of its former self, the Four Star is closing, and the Red Vic is just not the same caliber. The Balboa seems to be the only theatre trying to do something. I hope they can keep it up.

FoxFan on January 12, 2005 at 6:59 pm

I recently went to see MEET ME IN ST LOUIS at THE CASTRO – and the house was almost empty! Never in all my years has this occured for a Judy Garland picture. The owners better ‘get with the program '
or sell/lease the movie palace to someone who truly cares for its audience and survival.

br91975 on December 23, 2004 at 11:54 pm

There are obviously some great, clued-in business owners but, more often than not, it’s the day-to-day staff of a business who’s far more aware of what the public wants and responds to, but unfortunately they’re not the ones with the capital and the resultant clout and, inevitably, the staff (and the customers) suffer. Hopefully, with the current outcry, the Nasser family will catch on before long…

stevenj on December 21, 2004 at 5:31 pm

Seems like it would be economic suicide to change the programming to the point that people would stop going. The Nassers have owned the theatre for decades, and I doubt they want to see it close due to a lack of patronage. I wonder if they are considering twinning or triplexing which was kicked around in the late 70’s or early 80’s. The theatre is a national historical landmark but don’t know it that protects the interior as well as the facade. There was a noisy demonstration in front of the theatre Saturday (18th)over the firing of Anita Monga and the hiring on an LA programmer who obviously doesn’t know the local film scene (according to an interview with him in a recent SF Chronicle column by Ruthe Stein – “The Movie Insider”). Time will tell whether his programming will bring movigoers into the Castro or whether it was the wrong employment decision. The “Film Noir” series that has been so popular at the Castro has pulled out and will be at the Balboa.

RobertR on December 16, 2004 at 5:24 pm

Count this and Cinema 1-2-3 as goners.

tropicalidotcom on December 16, 2004 at 4:58 pm

The NEW official website of The Castro Theatre is located here:

And the new calendar is online! Check it out!

gorkipk on December 4, 2004 at 11:43 pm

I have been going to the Castro off and on for 30 years…mainly off due to distance.

Its hard to believe the Nasser family getting uptight at this late date about Gay content.

20 years ago the theatre was showing all this German crap by Fassbinder and some wierdo who kept was taking his taxi to the toilet in the middle of Berlin. Remember?

The Castro should do Gay Lite and downplay the politics. A re-release of “La Cage…” or retrospect of Gay actors and director films would have more mass appeal than that hardcore stuff. Speaking of that what happened to Beau Geste, a little porno theatre around the corner? I saw Gordon Grant there making a personal appearance.

Eric on November 24, 2004 at 10:54 pm

Nassers: Tsk Tsk Tsk….

Look for the Castro to be a Walgreens, Gap, or Crunch Gym within a year!

RobertR on November 4, 2004 at 1:20 pm

They should move all of this to the Roxie or that little porno theatre which I cant remember the name of. That would be a good way to restore it.