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Sadly, the Metro closed down last week.
I loved watching the blockbusters at this theater, since I worked 2 blocks away. It was also my first experience with Dolby. I had no idea what it was when I went to see Apocalypse Now. I sat on the far left side, and when the copters came in blazing in the first attack scene, my left ear was ringing for 10 minutes from the unexpected sound source!!!
This was one of the strangest movie-watching experiences I ever had. I went to the Parkside several times in the mid-80’s and was surprised that the only seats were in the balcony. When I looked over the rail I could see why – there were no seats on the ground floor, only children’s toys from the daycare activities!!!
The Strand will always have a fond spot in my heart. Many, many memories. I came to San Francisco in 1978 and lived in a hotel above a bar in the Tenderloin. No TV, kitchen, nothing. Little money also. Would go to the Strand every weekend to see their triple-bills for $1.50. Would watch movies for 12 hours straight until my eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head. Saw so many great/fun movies here – James Bond, The Wild Bunch, Polanski movies, Texas Chainsaw, etc. You learned quickly not to sit on the ends – you could see the roaches crawling on the walls. And if you sat downstairs, you NEVER sat directly under the balcony. Saw mice and God knows what else being dropped on people! THE MOST MEMORABLE showing for me was a double-bill of Madam Kitty and Pier Pasolini’s Salo:The Last 120 Days of Sodom and Gomorrah. Salo was so hard to stomach that it was the ONLY movie I ever saw where half the people at the Strand couldn’t take it and walked out.
Question for anyone familiar with the Surf. One of my biggest childhood tragedies was the day my father took me to see The Three Stooges in a live appearance promoting one of their movies in the early 60’s. He drove up, saw that the line snaked around for 2 blocks, and drove me home, crying all the way. Does anyone know if this appearance was at the Surf?