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Hey Jack, I read your book and found it fascinating as now spend a great deal of time in the city, formally from London… However, you’ve got the wrong theater here – it’s the Castro Theater site you need… Sorry to nitpick – once again, enjoyed the book a lot. What an interesting life you’ve led.
The last two photos are fabulous. Whenever I pass The Strand now, in its delapidated state, it angers me that an icon of the city has been left in this manner… Can nothing be done to resurrect it?
Was this the theatre featured (quite clearly in one exterior shot) in 1980’s ‘Cruising’? Or was the ‘Ramrod’ shown an alternative venue?I guess it would certainly fit in with the subject matter.
30 years ago! Makes me feel very old. Saw it at the Odeon Leicester Square, London, as an 11 year old. 11 times… Remains my all time favourite movie to this day… Little known fact; Treat Williams appears throughout the film in a number of guises (rebel fighter, cloud city guard etc) as he was apparently hanging around London at the time of filming. He’s not credited.
Back in San Francisco a few weeks back and I notice The Strand is still there. Is there any attempt whatsoever being made to ‘save it’? I find it curious that it hasn’t been levelled as it’s been destitute for so long.
This cinema was tatty and rather sad in its last years. However, for a local lad of 14, it had the major advantage of very lax standards and it was very easy to therefore waltz into X certificates. Strangely, it generally always seemed rather busy (at least in the evenings) therefore it’s closure seemed odd at the time.
I was in San francisco a few weeks ago and was mesmirised by the outside of the place (even more so, having read its history above). Could it be renovated? Several people mention above that they would willingly invest, as would I. Its always been my dream and this, it would seem, is the perfect theatre to resurrect in terms of history and potential (the area of Market Street it is in seems no longer the ‘crack haven’ area it previously was).
Terrible. At the Cinepolis cinemas I’ve been to in Mexico(the VIP unbelievably) they have the jawdropping habit of either standing infront of the projector or moving it (so the image is suddenly on the ceiling or the other side of the auditorium) as soon as the end credits begin. For ‘Casino Royale’ they just turned the film off literally as soon as the credits began and put the lights on. Shows a complete lack of respect or understanding of both film or their customers.
For anyone visiting for the first time, the Circle seats are by far the better (especially the first few rows). Avoid the Stalls (unless very tall) as they are hardly raked and you inevitably spend your time dodging the two heads jammed in front of you (unless, as I did, you see ‘Alexander’ there on a Saturday evening and the cinema was STILL empty).
I remember it being pretty notorious as the only cinema playing Tinto Brass' dreadful ‘Caligula’ for seemingly years and years in London.
For a 12 year old kid just getting into cinema, this cinema could not be matched. I remember seeing ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ 8 times on that huge screen. It had an exclusive presentation there before going on general release in the Midlands. Great memories.
I used to go to this cinema as a kid virtually every weekend for 10 years from the late 70’s. I’m amazed nobody has mentioned the ridiculously long trek down a narrow corridor to get to Screen 4. Very odd. I was amazed when I went back only a few years ago that the carpet in the Gents for Screen 1 was still covered with the Cannon logo, many years after their demise. Can anyone remember the name of the cinema in Stourbridge that closed in 1982?