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It’s funny, you never fully realize the details on buildings until you are no longer able to see them daily. I used to frequent the Clay all the time, since it was practiccally the only place to see French language films back then, and other more obscure films.
I think my first film seen here was in the early 80s, it was Isabelle Huppert and Miou Miou in “Entre Nous”. I’ve seen many many films here up until Amelie, when I left San Francisco.
I remember the seats not too comfy, and the site line was on the flat side, but it was cozy, the concession had hot tea and it was just a great place to see a movie, and lose yourself in another culture and language.
Long live the Clay!
Charlie, I went to Westchester High… long time ago..
I wanted to retrack and say i didn’t mean to imply Days of Heaven was panned by critics. I remember liking it a lot. Wasn’t it Richard Gere’s film just before “American Gigolo”?. I just dont remember Days of Heaven being a blockbuster, hence the question why it moved from the Bruin to the Village after it’s first run.
yes, the Tower did have 2 stories and I remember the little classical music annex as well. Those stores were narrow if I remember, certainly not the size of the Sunset one.
Thanks Michael. I still am not sure which theatre I must have seen “Days of Heaven”. I am curious why they would “re release” it at a larger theatre such as the Village, I dont' remember thinking it did too well. Didn’t Cimino’s ‘Heavens Gate’ open soon after ‘Days of Heaven’?
this thread brings back memories of moving viewing in LA during my teen years. I remember being 16 or so but into maturer films. I must look up to see if the Laemelle (sp?) theatre is still in westwood around the block, I remember seeing Woody Allen’s “Interiors” there and “Being There” (if I remember correctly). I wonder which theatre I would have seen Bertolucci’s “La Luna” with Jill Clayburgh? Oh how I wish I could remember.
at least it’s still standing..
I left SF in 2001, but lived there from 1982 to 2001. I used to go to their revival showings. Saw Gone with the Wind there in 1983 I think. Saw “Cruising”, “zardoz”, “1984” and others. Back in 1983/84 i wasn’t too bad, and an easy walk from Market/Powell to see an inexpensive movie. I too remember picking up those sheets listing the movies upcoming.
What I remember was the steep balcony.
Since I’ve left SF, I’ve come to appreciate older architecture. I sure hope this theatre remains intact somehow.
I lived in Westchester from 1976 to 1982 and remembered going to movies here. I saw Saturday Night Fever, Annie Hall, Erorcist II, all first run here. others too that i dont remember.. I have not lived in LA since 1985, but when I drove by it during a visit 10 years ago, you would not recognize it at all from what it used to look like, unlike the Loyola up the street.
I used to take the bus up from Westchester to Westwood in the late 70s to go this theatre, and others in westwood. I LOVED the big screen viewing. I was probably 15 or 16 (but looked older). I remember seeing “10” here and The Shining and definately “Christiane F” because it was a late showing. Remember that well. I do believe Christiane F was the last film I saw there as I moved to San Francisco for school in summer of 1982. I never returned to see films in LA since then. It was a great theatre. I was trying to figure out where I saw “Days of Heaven”. Somewhere in Westwood.
sad to hear if Westwood has declined. it was such a great place to hang out and walk around the streets in 1979/81. I remember Tower Records, Champs, the little Bullocks a few blocks away..
It was a beautiful theatre interior wise.. It was green and white as I remember. The walls were green with White moldings, and there were several chandeliers hanging from the ceiling in the main auditorium.
My first movie here was E.T. when I first moved to San Francisco in 1982. I so remember lining up on Van Ness and around the corner as the description above says. I miss that theatre.
I think for many of us who experienced the Galaxy in SF during the 80’s, it was our first meeting with THX sound. Me and a friend would always go there and nudge each other when that THX intro came on before the film started.
geez, so many memories of that theatre. Serial Mom, Married to the Mob, the 3rd Indiana Jones movie, A View to a Kill so many others. Personally i loved the Regency I across the street for its interior.
This movie theatre brings back so many memories of my teen years in the late 70’s. My dad used to drop us off there and we’d go see a movie. dont remember all the films I saw there, but it was between 1978 and 1980. It was the first theatre I remember being so luxurious. They had red chairs which rocked/reclined and a huge screen. After the movie we’d go to the Cultured Cow for a yougurt drink.
Oh now I remember, this theatre reverted to showing live plays because one of the stage theatres around the corner on Geary was damaged during the earthquake and this was used in its place until the other theatre was repaired.
Never knew it was the Stage Door. I was looking for this one under Regency III. So here it is. Anyway, I lived in SF from 1982 to 2001 and in the early 80s I loved coming to this theatre. I saw Children of a Lesser God , Top Gun and Out of Africa here. It was the only theatre in the union square area at the time (before the metreon was built) and it was convenient and a pretty good theatre I remember (for the time).
I believe (and correct me if Im wrong) that this theatre somehow was damaged or closed for some reason around the 1989 earthquake. that seems to be the time I remember no longer going to this theatre.
I absolutely loved this theatre. I lived on Nob Hill from 1982 to 2001 and would go here when i could. I remember in 82 it was a triplex and really do not remember the interior. Can’t remember what I saw, but “Dune” was playing in one of the other parts so this must have been 82 or 83. When it reverted back to a single screen, I remember seeing “Dances with Wolves” here when it first came out, so it did become a first run theatre. Saw “The Replacements” here and scores of others.
I am sooo surprised nobody mentioned the incredible ceiling. It was greenish and reddish lights in a very intricate moorish design and when the lights went down for the movie, the ceiling lights would become very faint and twinkly with a reddish and green hue. It was incredible.
I do wonder what the health club has done with it.
wow. i cannot belive I never went to this theater. I lived in San Francisco from 1982 to 2001, but I lived on Nob Hill and really went as far as the coronet and Bridge cinemas to see films. I never realized the Alexandria looked like this as it always seemed so hidden away and that far down Geary was not in my circle. If it was playing at the Alexandria, it was playing also at the Metro or Regency or Kabuku or that place on Van Ness across from the Regency. I have always loved older Theatres but simply had no idea of the beauty of this one.